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Towards a general microeconomic model for the operation of public transport


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  • Sergio Jara-Díaz
  • Antonio Gschwender
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    After Vickrey's view, Mohring constructed a microeconomic model to determine the optimal frequency of buses serving a corridor with fixed demand. The main result was that frequency should be proportional to the square root of demand. The role of users' costs was shown to be crucial. This approach has evolved over the past decades, improving our understanding of public transport operations. This paper describes and analyses the evolution of microeconomic models for the analysis of public transport services with parametric demand, leading towards a more comprehensive one. An in-depth review of all the contributions in the academic literature is presented, emphasizing both the treatment of variables and the form of the results mostly in terms of frequency and fleet size. A series of partial new elements is also identified. An extension of Jansson's model for a single period is developed analytically, including the effect of vehicle size on operating costs and the influence of crowding on the value of time. Numerical simulations are used for comparison and analysis. A general model is then proposed where bus operations are optimized accounting for a number of simultaneous relations. Finally, the different models are discussed and compared.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Transport Reviews.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 453-469

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:transr:v:23:y:2003:i:4:p:453-469

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    Cited by:
    1. De Borger, Bruno & Fosgerau, Mogens, 2012. "Information provision by regulated public transport companies," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 492-510.
    2. Basso, Leonardo J. & Jara-Díaz, Sergio R., 2012. "Integrating congestion pricing, transit subsidies and mode choice," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 890-900.
    3. Cortés, Cristián E. & Jara-Díaz, Sergio & Tirachini, Alejandro, 2011. "Integrating short turning and deadheading in the optimization of transit services," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 419-434, June.
    4. Holmgren, Johan & Jansson, Jan Owen & Ljungberg, Anders, 2008. "Public transport in towns - Inevitably on the decline?," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 65-74, January.
    5. Pestana Barros, Carlos & Peypoch, Nicolas, 2010. "Productivity changes in Portuguese bus companies," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 295-302, September.
    6. Tirachini, Alejandro & Hensher, David A. & Rose, John M., 2014. "Multimodal pricing and optimal design of urban public transport: The interplay between traffic congestion and bus crowding," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 33-54.
    7. Tirachini, Alejandro, 2014. "The economics and engineering of bus stops: Spacing, design and congestion," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 37-57.
    8. Basso, Leonardo J. & Guevara, Cristián Angelo & Gschwender, Antonio & Fuster, Marcelo, 2011. "Congestion pricing, transit subsidies and dedicated bus lanes: Efficient and practical solutions to congestion," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 676-684, September.
    9. Clifton, Geoffrey T. & Rose, John M., 2013. "A simulation of the simple Mohring model to predict patronage and value of resources consumed for enhanced bus services," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 259-269.
    10. Tirachini, Alejandro & Hensher, David A., 2011. "Bus congestion, optimal infrastructure investment and the choice of a fare collection system in dedicated bus corridors," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 828-844, June.
    11. Gwilliam, Ken, 2008. "A review of issues in transit economics," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 4-22, January.
    12. Tirachini, Alejandro & Hensher, David A. & Jara-Díaz, Sergio R., 2010. "Comparing operator and users costs of light rail, heavy rail and bus rapid transit over a radial public transport network," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 231-242.
    13. Ljungberg, Anders, 2010. "Local public transport on the basis of social economic criteria," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 339-345.
    14. Bar-Yosef, Asaf & Martens, Karel & Benenson, Itzhak, 2013. "A model of the vicious cycle of a bus line," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 37-50.


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