Applied Sciences (Oct 2022)

Identification of Mobility Patterns in Rural Areas of Low Demographic Density through Stated Preference Surveys

  • Montaña Jiménez-Espada,
  • Juan Miguel Vega Naranjo,
  • Francisco Manuel Martínez García

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 10034
p. 10034


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Within the multiple urban–rural interactions that make up the territorial dynamics, this article addresses and identifies how mobility relations are produced between neighbouring municipalities that share services. The aim of this research is to carry out a diagnosis of the current mobility situation in an area of low population density in order to identify the needs and possible shortcomings in this area. The initial identification of weaknesses is essential in order to propose solutions for rural mobility. The methodology adopted is based on two distinct lines of work: (1) analysis of information in open data from public repositories using geographic information system tools (GIS), and (2) surveys of citizens living in the study area. The results allude to the fact that the most transcendental problem in the study area is the lack of a quality collective public transport service that meets minimum utility requirements for users, a fact that generates a transfer towards the use of private vehicles. No serious parking, noise, pollution or road safety problems are observed; however, similar dynamics to other rural areas with low demographic density are confirmed, such as the age of the mobile fleet and an aging population with accessibility problems. The presence of new modes of transport (electric bicycles, personal mobility vehicles, and even electric vehicles) is practically insignificant. Both teleworking and the new consumer habits associated with online shopping have not yet had a strong impact. Political decision making by public administrations is identified as a direct application of this research.