During public transport strikes, many commuters use alternative means of transportation, often a car. It has been suggested that strikes may also have a long-term effect on how people travel. Researchers polled commuters six months after regional bus strikes that took place in the Netherlands in the summer of 2008. They estimate that bus use has decreased 2.7%.
“Governments and transportation companies should try to prevent strikes,” they argue. “Not only because of the costs involved, but also in view of the fact that quite a few respondents indicate they take the car instead of the bus. This is undesirable from the perspective of the government’s sustainable mobility policy. Strikes weaken the image and will probably diminish market share. It may take quite some time to win this back.”
Source: Barry Ubbels and Nathaly Dasburg (2009), Stakingen in het streekvervoer: Tijdelijke en structurele effecten. Basis 2: 12-15. Photo: FNV Bondgenoten