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Comparing ridership attraction of rail and bus


  • Ben-Akiva, Moshe
  • Morikawa, Takayuki


The objective of this study is to analyze whether or not there is evidence indicating a significant preference for rail travel over bus, and, if such a preference exists, to learn about the characteristics that affect it and cause it to vary from one situation to another. After a brief review of existing literature, models of choice among alternative travel modes are estimated using revealed preference data and stated preference data. The main conclusion of the study is that there is no evident preference for rail travel over bus when quantifiable service characteristics such as travel time and cost are equal, but a bias does arise when rail travel offers a higher quality service. The investigation of the impact of different service characteristics using more advanced demand estimation techniques is suggested as a topic for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben-Akiva, Moshe & Morikawa, Takayuki, 2002. "Comparing ridership attraction of rail and bus," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 107-116, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:9:y:2002:i:2:p:107-116

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hausman, Jerry A. & Ruud, Paul A., 1987. "Specifying and testing econometric models for rank-ordered data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 83-104.
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    2. Bouscasse, H. & Joly, I. & Peyhardi, J., 2016. "Estimating travel mode choice, including rail in regional area, based on a new family of regression models," Working Papers 2016-04, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
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    4. Ahern, Aoife A. & Tapley, Nigel, 2008. "The use of stated preference techniques to model modal choices on interurban trips in Ireland," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 15-27, January.
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    9. Gkritza, Konstantina & Karlaftis, Matthew G. & Mannering, Fred L., 2011. "Estimating multimodal transit ridership with a varying fare structure," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 148-160, February.
    10. Tétreault, Paul R. & El-Geneidy, Ahmed M., 2010. "Estimating bus run times for new limited-stop service using archived AVL and APC data," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 390-402, July.
    11. Beirão, Gabriela & Sarsfield Cabral, J.A., 2007. "Understanding attitudes towards public transport and private car: A qualitative study," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 478-489, November.
    12. Lindau, Luis Antonio & Hidalgo, Dario & de Almeida Lobo, Adriana, 2014. "Barriers to planning and implementing Bus Rapid Transit systems," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 9-15.
    13. Xiaohong Chen & Xiang Wang & Hua Zhang & Jia Li, 2014. "The Diversity and Evolution Process of Bus System Performance in Chinese Cities: An Empirical Study," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(11), pages 1-17, November.
    14. Haire, Ashley R. & Machemehl, Randy B. & Mills, Alison F., 2009. "Operational Cost Efficiency of Bus versus Heavy Rail: A Temporal and Regional Analysis," 50th Annual Transportation Research Forum, Portland, Oregon, March 16-18, 2009 207623, Transportation Research Forum.
    15. Dorina Pojani & Dominic Stead, 2015. "Sustainable Urban Transport in the Developing World: Beyond Megacities," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(6), pages 1-22, June.
    16. Lorenzo Varela , Juan Manuel & Börjesson, Maria & Daly, Andrew, 2017. "Public transport: one mode or several?," Working papers in Transport Economics 2017:6, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    17. Werner, Carol M. & Brown, Barbara B. & Tribby, Calvin P. & Tharp, Doug & Flick, Kristi & Miller, Harvey J. & Smith, Ken R. & Jensen, Wyatt, 2016. "Evaluating the attractiveness of a new light rail extension: Testing simple change and displacement change hypotheses," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 15-23.
    18. Jie Zhang & Yang Xie, 2015. "Optimal Intra-Urban Hierarchy of Activity Centers—A Minimized Household Travel Energy Consumption Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(9), pages 1-19, August.
    19. Bühler, Georg & Hoffmann, Tim & Wölfing, Nikolas & Schmidt, Markus, 2009. "Wettbewerb und Umweltregulierung im Verkehr: Eine Analyse zur unterschiedlichen Einbindung der Verkehrsarten in den Emissionshandel," ZEW Expertises, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research, number 110505.
    20. Hensher, David A. & Ho, Chinh & Mulley, Corinne, 2015. "Identifying preferences for public transport investments under a constrained budget," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 27-46.
    21. Lachapelle, Ugo & Noland, Robert B., 2012. "Does the commute mode affect the frequency of walking behavior? The public transit link," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 26-36.
    22. Jinbao Zhao & Wei Deng & Yan Song & Yueran Zhu, 2014. "Analysis of Metro ridership at station level and station-to-station level in Nanjing: an approach based on direct demand models," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 133-155, January.
    23. Wan, Dan & Kamga, Camille & Liu, Jun & Sugiura, Aaron & Beaton, Eric B., 2016. "Rider perception of a “light” Bus Rapid Transit system - The New York City Select Bus Service," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 41-55.

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