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Ridership drivers of bus rapid transit systems


  • David Hensher


  • Zheng Li



We have collected information on 46 bus rapid transit (BRT) systems throughout the world to investigate the potential patronage drivers. From a large number of candidate explanatory variables (quantitative and qualitative), 11 sources of systematic variation are identified which have a statistically significant impact on daily passenger-trip numbers. These sources are fare, headway, the length of the BRT network, the number of corridors, average distance between stations; whether there is: an integrated network of routes and corridors, modal integration at BRT stations, pre-board fare collection and fare verification, quality control oversight from an independent agency, at-level boarding and alighting, as well as the location of BRT. The findings of this paper offer important insights into features of BRT systems that are positive contributors to growing patronage and hence should be taken into account in designing and planning BRT systems. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • David Hensher & Zheng Li, 2012. "Ridership drivers of bus rapid transit systems," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(6), pages 1209-1221, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:39:y:2012:i:6:p:1209-1221 DOI: 10.1007/s11116-012-9392-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Holmgren, Johan, 2007. "Meta-analysis of public transport demand," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1021-1035, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cleary, Brendan & Duffy, Aidan & Bach, Bjarne & Vitina, Aisma & O’Connor, Alan & Conlon, Michael, 2016. "Estimating the electricity prices, generation costs and CO2 emissions of large scale wind energy exports from Ireland to Great Britain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 38-48.
    2. Hensher, David A. & Li, Zheng & Mulley, Corinne, 2014. "Drivers of bus rapid transit systems – Influences on patronage and service frequency," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 159-165.
    3. Currie, Graham & Delbosc, Alexa, 2014. "Assessing Bus Rapid Transit system performance in Australasia," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 142-151.
    4. An, Kun & Lo, Hong K., 2016. "Two-phase stochastic program for transit network design under demand uncertainty," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 157-181.
    5. repec:eee:transa:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:75-88 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.


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