Overview: Implementing a citizen segmentation to support the development of a more sustainable travel system
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is the transport arm of the West Midlands Combined Authority. TfWM is responsible for formulating transport strategy, policy and project delivery incorporating highways, freight, rail, bus and tram.
TfWM needed to understand the population of the West Midlands and their attitudes and behaviours towards travel, before being able to develop new transport services to generate modal shift and transport decarbonisation.
In October 2018, the West Midlands was chosen as UK’s first Future Transport Zone Area (FTZ) – A FTZ enables testing of new transport technologies, to accelerate future mobility solutions.
The appointment required TfWM to quickly understand the population of the West Midlands and their attitudes and behaviours towards travel, before being able to develop new transport services to generate modal shift and transport decarbonisation. TfWM needed to consider environmental and social needs, usability, and accessibility alongside obvious financial constraints, to ensure that the new mobility services were targeted towards those who would use them and need them most.
To support the FTZ,TfWMcommissioned the production of a bespoke segmentation model with Experian, which wouldallow them to understand citizens’ propensity to uptake new services and technologies to change travel behaviours – with the goal of improving the mobility of all residents.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority working with bus and train operators to make sure that public transport is safe, reliable, affordable and accessible for everyone.
They own and run West Midlands Metro, which is the region’s tram service. They also run the Swift smartcard. This flexible, cashless ticket is the most-used outside London.
They are responsible for monitoring and improving road safety in the West Midlands. We look after the 23 busiest routes in the region. This is called the Key Route Network.
They also manage the Regional Transport Coordination Centre for the West Midlands. The centre monitors the transport network helping to keep the region moving during major events like the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
|West Midlands population:
|Over 2.6 million
The first practical phase of the project was to create an analytical data-mart. This is a single view of each citizen at a behavioural, demographic, and attitudinal level, created by linking all available data sources. It was essential that citizen matches, and linkage points were maximised to create a robust view of the entire TfWM network.
To ensure the final segmentation could be linked to any individual, household or postcode, Experian’s proprietary Mosaic Type classification was utilised as a common denominator – allowing all citizens with the West Midlands to be assigned a specific segment, no matter the source of the data. Data sources included: TfWM smart ticket data (SWIFT), Experian demographic data and bespoke YouGov survey data.
Users at TfWM accessed the segmentation through a visualisation portal built via Tableau. The huge quantity of insights within the portal offered TfWM a holistic view of their citizens demographics, attitudes towards travel and technology.Learn how Experian can help understand consumer behaviour
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