Hello there, Per Echeverri ...2022-02-09
… you were the project manager for one of the subprojects within the now completed Interregg project "Response". Can you tell us about the project?
- Yes, that’s right. Together with Nicklas Salomonson at the University of Borås, I have studied how travellers with different forms of disability experience mobility services. We have looked at how these travellers experience so called demand responsive travel journeys, with special focus on critical aspects such as reliability and user-friendliness and how traveler and driver co-handle different situations. The aim has been to develop new knowledge on how to create improved services for this group of travellers. Our research have been conducted within the framework of the Interreg project Response, which includes participants from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania.
How did you proceed?
- In our sub-project, Interactive citizen involvement in DRT service design, we studied travellers, drivers and booking staff in Värmland and Gothenburg to gain a deeper understanding of their interaction before, during and after a journey. We have been out in the field and visited different workplaces where we did interviews, observations, took photos and made video recordings. Through this data, we were able to analyse how travellers with disabilities manage the many difficult situations they are exposed to in connection with transport and the coping strategies they develop.
- We have also looked at travellers’ experience of moving within and at the borderline between two different service systems – a transport system and a healthcare system. Here, we identified places, situations and aspects that are particularly difficult. Among other things, there is a lack of collaboration and understanding in the relation between different staff groups in the ecosystem of service organisations that aims to create value for its customers, in this case travellers and patients. We have analysed data from a perspective of value destruction and created a conceptual typology of how different practices can relate to each other and drive value in different directions.
How can this research be applied in practice?
- Among other things, we have compiled results from our research in a handbook – a practically oriented overview of our findings for providers of demand-responsive transport. It contains knowledge of experiences in relation to interactions with demand-responsive transport, as well as recommendations and methods for creating a better understanding of the traveller in the development of transport solutions and travel experiences. We hope that it can be a useful tool in the development work within the field. Those responsible for the development of transport services need deeper insight into what is crucial for travellers with disabilities in connection with actual travel, not just answers from surveys and focus groups. Demand-responsive transport is increasingly seen as a way forward in developing public transport, especially outside urban areas and, of course, as part of the reduced use of private cars.
You have been active at CTF since 1996 and now you are retiring, if you were to sum up your time as a researcher in three words – what would they be?
- That was no easy task. I would describe work as a researcher as something that allows freedom, something that moves slowly and, at times, is meaningful.
Per Echeverri received his PhD from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg in 1999. His research has often touched on the social interaction in service encounters and especially customers’ user experience. His research also covers phenomena such as organisational culture, professional identity, difficult customers, group communication and organisational collaboration. Per has been somewhat of a pioneer in using ethnographic video methodology in the study of different types of service activities. He has written some 40 academic articles, reports and book chapters on, for example, service management, marketing and organisation.