Slovenians not willing to give up cars to reduce footprint
Slovenians are set in their ways when it comes to mobility and are unwilling to change if that means reducing their personal efficiency and comfort, a survey by Mediana for the Slovenian Automobile Association (AMZS) suggests. Most respondents use cars and one out of three drives alone to work or school.
The survey, conducted among 804 residents between 18 and 70 years of age in October 2022, saw 65% of those questioned say they use cars. Nearly half (47%) run errands by car on their own.
Only a small proportion use sustainable means of mobility, in particular young people, pensioners and urban residents who have suitable access to public passenger transportation and cannot use cars, the AMZS said.
When deciding on a means of transport, Slovenians consider speed, independent decision-making, and costs as most important factors.
Those who use public transport cite as their main reasons a lack of parking spaces, followed by environmental impact, lower costs and good connections.
Those who do not use public transport say that travelling by car is faster and that public transport links are poor and do not fit their schedule.
Many respondents noted that there is no public transport infrastructure in their area. Public buses are not available for some 20% of respondents for their daily commute, while for trains that figure is 38%.
"It has once again been proven that Slovenia has to set up an effective and innovative system of public transport to change mobility habits and reduce the numbers of cars on the roads," the AMZS said.
"Once public transport becomes a suitable alternative to cars, which is more affordable and at least as fast and comfortable as cars, then more citizens will start using it," AMZS noted. In that scenario, 58% of respondents would choose a sustainable alternative to cars.
The survey showed that the transition towards sustainable mobility is important for 65% of respondents. "Citizens are aware of the importance of protecting the environment but in practice it shows they will not change their habits to better the environment at the cost of a significant decrease of efficiency and comfort of their personal mobility," Erik Logar from the AMZS said.
More than 75% of those questioned believe that walking or cycling when possible shows an effort for sustainable mobility, while only 45% would say the same for carpooling to work.
A challenge to an effective public transport system in Slovenia is the dispersed population, which according to Logar is why cars will stay as the main means of transport. In the future on-demand transport, multimodality and carpooling will have to be considered to make cars more environmentally friendly.