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The cross elasticity between gasoline prices and transit use: Evidence from Chicago

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Listed:
  • Nowak, William P.
  • Savage, Ian

Abstract

This paper calculates the cross elasticity between the price of gasoline and transit ridership in Chicago using monthly data for the period between January 1999 and December 2010. Separate estimations are conducted for city heavy rail, city bus, commuter rail and suburban bus services. A 12-month difference model is used to overcome seasonality. The paper finds that the cross elasticities when gas prices were less than $3 a gallon were small, with a magnitude of less than 0.05. When prices exceeded $3 a gallon, the elasticity was larger, in the range of 0.12–0.14, for the rail modes. In the summer of 2008 when prices exceeded $4 a gallon, there was considerable responsiveness with elasticities of 0.28–0.30 for city and suburban bus, and 0.37 for commuter rail. These values are similar to, or even larger than, those found during the oil crises of the 1970s and early 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Nowak, William P. & Savage, Ian, 2013. "The cross elasticity between gasoline prices and transit use: Evidence from Chicago," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 38-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:29:y:2013:i:c:p:38-45
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2013.03.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anas, Alex & Hiramatsu, Tomoru, 2012. "The effect of the price of gasoline on the urban economy: From route choice to general equilibrium," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 855-873.
    2. Savage, Ian, 2004. "Management objectives and the causes of mass transit deficits," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 181-199, March.
    3. Voith, Richard, 1991. "The long-run elasticity of demand for commuter rail transportation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 360-372, November.
    4. Holmgren, Johan, 2007. "Meta-analysis of public transport demand," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1021-1035, December.
    5. Gerard de Jong & Hugh Gunn, 2001. "Recent Evidence on Car Cost and Time Elasticities of Travel Demand in Europe," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 35(2), pages 137-160, May.
    6. Frondel, Manuel & Vance, Colin, 2011. "Rarely enjoyed? A count data analysis of ridership in Germany's public transport," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 425-433, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miller, Caroline & Savage, Ian, 2017. "Does the demand response to transit fare increases vary by income?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 79-86.
    2. Avner, Paolo & Rentschler, Jun & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2014. "Carbon price efficiency : lock-in and path dependence in urban forms and transport infrastructure," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6941, The World Bank.

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