UrbanThings’ survey finds occupancy predictions would boost public transport confidence for 79%

A survey conducted by UrbanThings found that 79% of the public would feel more confident in using public transport if they could see how busy a vehicle is before boarding.

As part of our white paper report on the future of public transport, we spoke to members of the public and asked them a series of questions to measure current public transport confidence levels.


Results were quite strong, showing that the public will need plenty of reassurance on the safety of public transport as we prepare for post-pandemic operations. 59% stated that they would not feel safe using public transport at the moment.

survey public transport confidence

The primary concern highlighted in this survey was social distancing, as 70% did not feel confident in being able to stay social-distanced. The other main issues found were, unsurprisingly, based around cleanliness and COVID-19, with 56% stating that they did not feel confident in the cleanliness of vehicles.

But as the survey looked ahead, towards what could be done to resolve any existing anxieties around public transport safety, results looked promising. When asked how they would feel if they could see how busy a vehicle is likely to be before boarding, a resounding 79% said they would feel more confident52% also said they would feel more confident if they were able to digitally reserve a social-distanced seat.

public transport safety

This response has helped inform our social distancing transport technology features that we’ve introduced throughout the pandemic thanks to special government funding from Innovate UK. Our vehicle occupancy predictions engine allows passengers to see in advance how busy a vehicle is likely to be at their stop. Feedback so far is that this has provided peace of mind for passengers and is invaluable for the post-pandemic recovery for transport providers.

The results clearly show that there is a huge willingness to return to public transport, provided that key barriers such as cleanliness and passenger spacing can be addressed. There is also an overall expectation that operators will provide clear, digital communication. Travel providers need to reassure the public if they are to encourage riders back, by increasing staff presence to combat rule-breaking, stepping up on marketing campaigns and investing in technology to improve the customer experience and overall public transport confidence levels.

To see the rest of the survey results and our full smart transport platform report, download our white paper here.

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