Urban environment is becoming a more popular context for scientific research. At the same time, the city government strives for a dialogue with the academic community to improve the quality of the decisions made. Innovations in the St. Petersburg transport system caught the attention of the team of researchers from the Graduate School of Management of Saint Petersburg University.
In fact, the city's transport system has been studied at the Department of Public Administration of GSOM SPbU for several years, — explains Ekaterina Sokolova, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Management of GSOM SPbU and manager of the project.
"We have been studying the St. Petersburg transport system for more than ten years. From 2019, we have been conducting questionnaire surveys among the citizens to find out their attitude to different means of transport and factors affecting the way they move around the city. There are two recent events that have changed the citizens' transport behavior. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic was in full swing, and public transport was considered a dangerous place where you could become infected. In 2022, a new transport service system was introduced in Saint Petersburg, and now we are studying how the latest innovations have affected the transport behavior", — Ekaterina continues.
In the course of the last year, the city's transport system has changed: shared taxis have been replaced by buses, and paid parking zones have been significantly expanded. Apart from that, two busy subway stations – Chernyshevskaya and Ladozhskaya have been closed for renovation, so the citizens had to change their usual routes.
"The most important component of our research is questionnaire surveys of the citizens. It allows us to evaluate the transport needs and preferences of different population groups living in different city districts. We are trying to find out what makes them choose between public transport and personal car in different conditions. The analysis allows us to develop recommendations on the improvement of the city transport system.
The last survey was in March, 2022, right before the transport reform. The present survey will help us evaluate how the innovations affected the transport behavior of the citizens. We discuss the results with the academic community and, after getting the feedback, we send the recommendations to the Transport Committee of St. Petersburg", — shares Egor Starshov, doctoral student of the Graduate School of Management of SPbU and participant of the project — "We believe that every citizen's opinion has to be taken into account when making decisions important for our city, so we ask the residents of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region to take a questionnaire here".