Topic outline

    • This course, Using market research to help optimise your public transport system, was originally offered as a 4-week moderated course in spring 2014 as part of the EU TIDE project. While we can no longer provide expert moderation, we are happy to make the course material open for you to learn from.  If you have any questions about this course or about the TIDE project, please contact

  • Unit 1: Introduction

    Public transport faces strong competition from private motor vehicles. Public transport systems that want to be successful and competitive in 2020 should take into account four main trends, namely public debt increases, the ageing of European society, oil price increases and the expansion of metropolitan areas. All of these result in a growing demand for public transport and a possible lack of capacity of many public transport systems. The organisation of public transport includes the programming of its operation and development in a given geographical area. For efficient operation, it is necessary to determine the form of market relations, the market structure and the scope of its regulation as well as the financing system. On a more detailed level, public transport organisation includes timetabling, contracting, financing, marketing and pricing policy.

  • Unit 2: An overview of marketing research

  • Unit 3: Scope of marketing research in public transport

    • Different people use public transport in different ways and for different reasons.

    • This section helps you identify what is important to users and potential users of public transport so that you can begin to focus your marketing research.

  • Unit 4: Designing marketing research

    As with many things, good planning preparation are important in marketing research. In this unit, you will start to look at designing your research and errors to avoid.

  • Unit 5: Collecting data in public transport

    When collecting data in public transport, there is a fine line between getting enough data and the cost of gathering and analysing it. This unit will address some of the issues you should consider with regard to collecting data.

    • This section talks about the various sources of data available to you and when each is most appropriate to use.

    • This section looks at the different types of surveys available, when they are useful and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

    • This section starts to look at the design of surveys administered for public transport users.

  • Unit 6: Data processing and analysis in public transport

    This unit addresses what you do with the data that you collect and how you make optimal use of it.

  • Unit 7: Preparing and presenting a research report

    The research alone isn't enough; it needs to be presented in such a way that it can support good decision-making.

  • Unit 8: Organising marketing research in public transport 

    The structure of the organisation carrying out the market research affects the way the market research is organised.

  • Unit 9: Summary and conclusions

    Wrapping up

    • Review of the key messages and resources of this course

    • A few more resources that may be useful