Becoming Radio Active: Using Public Service Announcements to Encourage Students to Cycle
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The Greening the Campus movement seeks to foster a powerful environmentally sustainable campus culture. Transportation plays a major role in the making of sustainable choices on campus and in everyday life. This study addresses the transportation choices of Dalhousie University and University of King‟s College undergraduate students, inspired by a recent statistic that indicates that only 5% of students regularly cycle to and from school each day. The purpose of this project was to create Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to be played on the campus radio station while testing the effectiveness of PSAs to increase the likelihood of students to use cycling as a mode of transportation. The PSAs contained information about the Dalhousie Campus Bike Centre, rules of the road, and dos and don‟ts of cycling in Halifax. Using focus groups, the researchers played the PSAs for the student participants. Researchers gathered information on how to improve the PSAs to make them more persuasive. Participants also provided information on the perceived barriers to cycling in Halifax. Students indicated that after listening to the PSAs, they were not more likely to cycle in Halifax. The main barriers to cycling identified by the participants was safety. The PSAs addressed some safety concerns, however participants found that in doing so the ads did not make cycling sound appealing, nor did the PSAs change the fact that they feel unsafe on the roads.