The Institute of Advanced Studies was tasked by Radkompetenz member Klimaaktiv to perform a representative survey assessing the potential to increase cycling uptake in the Austrian population based on behavioral ecomonomics and subsequently, to compare these results to the participation group of the initiative ‘Österreich radelt’ (Austria cycles). Below, we will summarize the most important findings. The future cyclist is female, well educated, has children and doesn’t live in a large city. What is this result based on?
Representative study of 1500 Austrians
The scientists of the IHS, Dr. Katharina Gangl, Dr. Florian Spitzer and Anna Walter MSc, created with the support of Michael Keinprecht ‘Behavioral-economic measures for Österreich radelt’ on the basis of survey and interview findings. This was accomplished through a survey performed by Karmasin Research and analyzed by the IHS. The sample for the survey consisted of 1512 people. This was compared to a sample of 2738 participants of ‘Österreich radelt’ in order to highlight differences.
Above, the representative sample compared to the participation group of ‘Österreich radelt’ who took part in the open survey. The expected differences in bicycle usage are significant here: even in the representative sample, 47.2% rode their bike daily in summer, compared to 12.3% daily in winter. In the ‘Österreich radelt’ group, 76.5% rode their bike daily in summer and 34.6% daily in winter!
The goal was to draw conclusions about every-day mobility choices and the likelihood of taking part in ‘Österreich radelt’. Which target groups react positively to cycling campaigns? Where should advertising for sustainable mobility by bike be placed for maximum effect? Here are examples of the questions asked:
- How often do you use the following modes of transport for daily activities?
- How much time do you typically spend riding your bike in cold/warm seasons?
- Compared to the present, how much would you like to use the bicycle in the future?
The results highlighted differences between the sample groups in analysis of ‘non-cyclists vs cyclists’ and ‘motivated, occasional cyclists vs people who cycled regularly’. Besides sociodemographic determinants such as gender, age, income, job position, children, town-size and region, other factors such as values, awareness, safety, information and social norms were also taken into account.
The willingness to switch to cycling
It could at least be shown that 73% of Austrians cycle daily to monthly. However, 27% reported that they never cycle. Non-cyclists, according to the results of the study, are less educated, come from built-up areas with populations over 100,000, are unemployed and either under 18 or over 70 years old.
In the group of non-cyclists, 82.6% do not wish to change their behavior. Around 24% are therefore not reachable. 3% of non-cyclists however, are. This amount is negligible in the wider context, making the main target audience for the promotion of cycling mobility that of the motivated, occasional cyclists.
This group of motivated, occasional cyclists represents 20% of the whole population. They ride their bikes less frequently than monthly but would like to increase this. In this group women are more easily motivated. The table below shows that the demographic most effectively motivated to take part in ‘Österreich radelt’ is between 35-44 years old, has a university degree and lives in a small town.
Background information to the study
The following were used in the IHS analysis:
- Literary research
- Analysis of decision-making context
- Interviews of mobility experts
- Quantitative surveying: representative sample groups
Consequently, measures were developed for ‘Österreich radelt’ based on interviews, surveys and literature. Determinants from the literature and international best practices for cycling are, for example:
- Infrastruktur (Aziz et al., 2018)
- Werte (de Kruijf et al., 2018)
- Bewusstsein (Yang et al., 2010)
- Sicherheit (Monsere et al., 2014)
- Information (Ben-Elia & Ettema, 2011)
- Soziale Normen (TPB, Nobelt et al., 2014)
- Kontrolle (TPB, Nobelt et al., 2014)
The Study was tasked by Klimaaktiv mobil and the initiative of the ministry of climate protection.