NEW IDEAS FOR THE #NHTS2018 : Private Car

This short article considers whether private car users need to be explored with greater depth in the National Household Travel Survey 2018 in South Africa.

2014 marked as the decade long wait for another National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) coming to an end. It’s with great excitement that work toward the NHTS 2018 is at public consultation phase. I made a few observations during the consultation in the North West Province.

Firstly, the NHTS is aimed at collecting household travel data that draws a description of travel trends of households on a national level. One of my arguments is that including a more detailed understanding of the (a) private car user; (b) education trips factors capturing transport expenditures for their kids; and (c) consistent representation of migration between provinces. This article discusses the first one.

Private Car User

Ranging from road rage specialists to people with an imagination — the private car user is an unusual usual in connecting points A & B. With the aim of inducing modal shifts through public transport, implementing public transport policy necessitates a general understanding of private car users. The travel mode transit policies are trying to snatch passenger volumes from a private car industry of manufacturing, marketing and consumption culture. In order to ensure viable services with minimum subsidies, significant passenger volumes are necessary for public transport services. The 2013 NHTS only captures a small part of a key mode user.

Affordable Additions

Sections are devoted to trip types and mode choice descriptions in the NHTS2018. Public transport modes are captured in terms of cost, waiting time, travel time and the likes. The private car is a mode option. Another instance for mention of the private car is where it is investigated in terms of (perceived) cost for a certain trip and ownership-use. Where attitudes toward public transport services attributes are observed, the private car is not among the modes households are required to rate. Bringing in a large gap in the NHTS2018. Treating the car as an invincible mode. Adding a concrete exploration of private car users in SA affords public sector initiatives, transport consultants and operators critical transit demand.

Key Questions

How long has this household had a car? Was the car brand new or second hand?

How many trips do they make per week by car on week days and weekends?

What are the service attributes they like most about the private car? Is the car perceived as affordable? [As in Section 8 of the NHTS 2013]

How many drivers licenses are in the household? How long has the household had drivers licenses?

Some questions are addressed in the NHTS2013 by inference. However, many are outside of the survey.

Possible Overlaps

One may argue that Road Traffic Management Corporation offers similar data. However these are not easily cross referenced with demographic data and travel pattern. In the same sense that can be applied to other STATSSA data.

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