In the last decade, the number of people using their cars to come into London has dropped by 51%. Over the same period, the London rail audience has increased by 41% to 5.5 million - 3.6 million of which are commuters. This trend has been identified by researchers as the ‘Peak Car Phenomenon’. The high congestion levels, congestion charge and increased overall driving and parking costs have taken their toll on London’s drivers and driven many of them on to the vastly improved public transport system. This change in transport system has led to a change in commuting habit, as these new modern travellers are now free to concentrate on many more subjects than the road ahead. And with the arrival of the smartphones and tablets, combined with the many Wi-Fi offers being developed in public transport, a whole new type of commuter has emerged.KBH’s Dipsticks research study has found that:- 89% of commuters own a smartphone - 85% of which, use it while travelling by train. - 42% own a tablet - 23% of which, use it when travelling by train. - 67% agree that availability of quick easy-to-access WiFi makes the journey more enjoyable. Travellers now use their time to stay linked to the outside world: they browse, email, message and interact with social media. This whole new type of behaviour, along with an important dwell time (50 mins on average), means that commuters have become a high value audience, that is in the perfect state of mind to engage with advertising.
Over time, Commuters have become a strategic audience for advertisers, which is why more and more research is being dedicated to finding out who they are in more depth. JCDecaux has launched the Connected Commuter study, to offer insights into what this unique audience’s tastes are. With the fast developing digital offers, combined with constantly improving connected device technologies, brands will be more and more able to engage and build stronger relationships with these key rail audiences in that unique period of time, when they are most responsive to advertising.