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Mind the map! The impact of transit maps on path choice in public transit

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  • Guo, Zhan

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of schematic transit maps on passengers' travel decisions. It does two things: First, it proposes an analysis framework that defines four types of information delivered from a transit map: distortion, restoration, codification, and cognition. It then considers the potential impact of this information on three types of travel decisions: location, mode, and path choices.1 Second, it conducts an empirical analysis to explore the impact of the famous London tube map on passengers' path choice in the London Underground (LUL). Using data collected by LUL from 1998 to 2005, the paper develops a path choice model and compares the influence between the distorted tube map (map distance) and reality (travel time) on passengers' path choice behavior. Results show that the elasticity of the map distance is twice that of the travel time, which suggests that passengers often trust the tube map more than their own travel experience on deciding the "best" travel path. This is true even for the most experienced passengers using the system. The codification of transfer connections on the tube map, either as a simple dot or as an extended link, could affect passengers' transfer decisions. The implications to transit operation and planning, such as trip assignments, overcrowding mitigation, and the deployment of Advanced Transit Information System (ATIS), are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Guo, Zhan, 2011. "Mind the map! The impact of transit maps on path choice in public transit," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 625-639, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:7:p:625-639
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    8. Golledge, Reginald G., 1995. "Path Selection and Route Preference in Human Navigation: A Progress Report," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9jn5r27v, University of California Transportation Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:transa:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:158-169 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Shaun Larcom & Ferdinand Rauch & Tim Willems, 2017. "The Benefits of Forced Experimentation: Striking Evidence from the London Underground Network," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 2019-2055.
    3. Becker, Kai Helge, 2016. "An outlook on behavioural OR – Three tasks, three pitfalls, one definition," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(3), pages 806-815.
    4. P. Christopher Zegras & Emily Eros & Kuan Butts & Elizabeth Resor & Stephen Kennedy & Albert Ching & Muntasir Mamun, 2015. "Tracing a path to knowledge? Indicative user impacts of introducing a public transport map in Dhaka, Bangladesh," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 8(1), pages 113-129.
    5. repec:eee:transa:v:101:y:2017:i:c:p:111-132 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:trapol:v:61:y:2018:i:c:p:51-59 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Waara, Nina & Brundell-Freij, Karin & Risser, Ralf & Ståhl, Agneta, 2015. "Feasible provision of targeted traveler information in public transportation: Segmentation based on functional limitations," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 164-173.
    8. Jessica Schoner & David Levinson, 2013. "Which Station? Access Trips and Bike Share Route Choice," Working Papers 000117, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    9. Creemers, Lieve & Tormans, Hans & Bellemans, Tom & Janssens, Davy & Wets, Geert & Cools, Mario, 2015. "Knowledge of the concept Light Rail Transit: Exploring its relevance and identification of the determinants of various knowledge levels," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 31-43.

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