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The impact of fare integration on travel behavior and transit ridership


  • Sharaby, Nir
  • Shiftan, Yoram


Integrated, high quality, and accessible transit systems are essential for attracting travelers to shift from private to public. This change in personal behavior is desired in order to reduce congestion and air pollutant emissions in city centers. This paper focuses on evaluating the impact of fare integration on transit ridership and travel behavior, using the city of Haifa, Israel, as a case study. The city's new, integrated, fare policy changed the historically complex per-boarding system to a simple five-zone fare system with free transfers, reducing fares for many passengers. Using fare-box data, on-board surveys and travel-behavior model estimation, we show that the new fare policy managed to negate the downward trend in transit ridership. Fare-box data showed a significant increase in single ticket sales of up to 25% over the first year following the launch of the reform; the survey's results pointed to an increase of 7.7% in passenger trips and 18.6% in boarding. The number of passenger boarding per trip increased from 1.38 to 1.52, implying that people were utilizing the free transfer option and enjoying a wider range of routes. The model results showed that fare reduction was a significant factor in attracting transit users, and that the public transport reform had three important contributions: first, it encouraged travelers to shift from private cars or taxi to buses; second, it created new trips, offering more opportunities for activity participation; and third, it increased travel options by allowing travelers to choose a better route.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharaby, Nir & Shiftan, Yoram, 2012. "The impact of fare integration on travel behavior and transit ridership," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 63-70.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:21:y:2012:i:c:p:63-70
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2012.01.015

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Voith, Richard, 1997. "Fares, Service Levels, and Demographics: What Determines Commuter Rail Ridership in the Long Run?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 176-197, March.
    2. Paulley, Neil & Balcombe, Richard & Mackett, Roger & Titheridge, Helena & Preston, John & Wardman, Mark & Shires, Jeremy & White, Peter, 2006. "The demand for public transport: The effects of fares, quality of service, income and car ownership," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 295-306, July.
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    4. Abrate, Graziano & Piacenza, Massimiliano & Vannoni, Davide, 2009. "The impact of Integrated Tariff Systems on public transport demand: Evidence from Italy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 120-127, March.
    5. Hensher, David A., 2008. "Assessing systematic sources of variation in public transport elasticities: Some comparative warnings," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1031-1042, August.
    6. Kremers, Hans & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 2002. "A meta-analysis of price elasticities of transport demand in a general equilibrium framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 463-485, May.
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    8. FitzRoy, Felix & Smith, Ian, 1999. "Season Tickets and the Demand for Public Transport," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 219-238.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lu, Xiao-Shan & Liu, Tian-Liang & Huang, Hai-Jun, 2015. "Pricing and mode choice based on nested logit model with trip-chain costs," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 76-88.
    2. repec:eee:trapol:v:61:y:2018:i:c:p:75-83 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Redman, Lauren & Friman, Margareta & Gärling, Tommy & Hartig, Terry, 2013. "Quality attributes of public transport that attract car users: A research review," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 119-127.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:689-:d:96956 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Wang, Zi-jia & Li, Xiao-hong & Chen, Feng, 2015. "Impact evaluation of a mass transit fare change on demand and revenue utilizing smart card data," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 213-224.
    6. de Grange, Louis & Troncoso, Rodrigo & González, Felipe, 2012. "An empirical evaluation of the impact of three urban transportation policies on transit use," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 11-19.
    7. repec:eee:retrec:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:26-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Rahman, Farzana & Das, Tanmay & Hadiuzzaman, Md & Hossain, Sanjana, 2016. "Perceived service quality of paratransit in developing countries: A structural equation approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 23-38.
    9. Chung, Yi-Shih & Chiou, Yu-Chiun, 2017. "Willingness-to-pay for a bus fare reform: A contingent valuation approach with multiple bound dichotomous choices," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 289-304.
    10. Chowdhury, Subeh & Ceder, Avishai (Avi), 2016. "Users’ willingness to ride an integrated public-transport service: A literature review," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 183-195.


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