Systematic review of literature on demand-responsive transport services
In the EU, 29 % of citizens live in rural areas. Considering public transport’s role in reducing carbon emissinos, possible solutions for these regions need to be explored urgently. Demand-responsive transport services (DRT) is viewed as alternative means of public transport in rural areas. Nevertheless, scientific investigations have fallen short of socio-scientific approaches regarding the user acceptance of DRT. Hence, this systematic literature review contributes (1) an overview of the development of the reseach field with a particular focus on user-oriented research and (2) the design and location of performed empirical studies. (3) It examines the findings with respect to population density of study areas and (4) concludes by systemizing the existing research gap regarding DRT, user acceptance and rurality. Methodologically, a search in the databases Web of Science, ScienceDirect and Taylor & Francis in July 2020 (n=1,222) was followed by the quality assessment. The remaining 231 articles were scanned for user-focused research (n=44). The results show that research on DRT has a diffuse history and remains a niche study field with user-focused research holding the smallest share (18%). DRT is perceived as socially motivated service for specific population groups and well suited for rural areas and the reduction of carbon emissions. Nevertheless, empirical research is conducted in urban areas (72%) studying mainly the general public. The application of stated-preference methods is scarce. The spike of publications on DRT in 2020 shows the rising attention this research field is receiving and underlines the relevance of this article at this stage. The article shows the necessity for more user-focused rsearch on DRT. It emphasizes the mismatch between perception and study objects (urban – rural; target groups), and the bias when transferring results. It is highlighted that more research addressing benefitting groups should be conducted in order to derive realistic implications and recommendations.
demand-responsive transport, rural areas, systematic literature review
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