[PDF] ACRP REPORT 4. Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM

Applying Market Research to Airport Ground Access

60%

Mode Share

50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Res Biz

Res Non- Non-res Biz Non-res biz Non-biz Segment: Central DC Market

SOURCE: TCRP Report 83.

Figure 6-6. Variation by market segment: Inner Washington to Dulles airport (1998).

segment for rail and public transportation is the resident non-business traveler. The non-resident business traveler is the least likely to choose the public options, with a high 61% market share to taxi.

Applying the Four Market Segments: Looking for the Factor of Familiarity Careful use of market segmentation allows the analyst to understand which factors are influential in the decision of the mode of ground access to an airport. As noted in Chapter 4, O’Hare airport as a whole has a relatively low mode share to rail. This statistic might imply that the citizens of Chicago have significantly less propensity to choose rail than do citizens of other cities. However, when the two stages of market segmentation are applied in this case—first geographic segmentation and then demographic segmentation—a more interesting picture of market behavior can be drawn. One of the reasons that the rail mode share is low for the full airport is that the airport has a wide coverage area, and the majority of travelers are simply not coming from or going to the area served by Chicago transit. When a prime market area for the rail service is defined, then the mode share observed in that area quadruples. When the second step of market segmentation is applied (i.e., within the smaller geographic area defined by the prime 35%

Bus/limo

30%

Rail

25%

Public transportation share between DCA and Washington Prime Market Area = 19%

20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

Res Biz Res Non- Non-res Non-res biz Biz Non-biz Segment: Central DC Market SOURCE: TCRP Report 83.

Figure 6-7. Variation by market segment: Inner Washington to Reagan National airport (1998).

151

152

Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation

market area), rail market share for residents is revealed to be far stronger than for non-residents. In fact, between the CBD and O’Hare, the market segment with the highest share to rail is the resident business market. It can be argued that travelers who are most familiar with the very reliable service from the downtown to the airport are the most prone to select it. The non-resident business market, faced with the same travel times and costs, has a much lower share to rail. Market segmentation of this kind has been applied to better understand concept of “familiarity” in the choice of airport access mode. In Scandinavia, data collected on all four market segments is further divided into domestic vs. international flights. In Sweden, it was found that, looking only at the non-resident business market, visitors to the city of Stockholm from within Sweden chose the fast rail at a market share (60%) almost three times that of the visitors from outside Sweden (21%) (47). Looking for this issue of familiarity for the Oslo fast train, the analysts found that, looking only at the non-resident business market, visitors from within Norway had a much higher mode share to rail (69%) than did visitors from outside of Norway (51%.) For the managers of the rail system, this market research then focused the management issue on the challenge of getting their marketing message out to international visitors not familiar with the system. This kind of market research can be undertaken only when other powerful factors, such as the geography of the trip end and the demographics of the trip maker, are properly taken into consideration. In both these research examples, each of the two groups approached the same geographic area, with the same trip purpose, and exhibited radically different market behavior.

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