Valuing Convenience in Public Transport

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The experience of transport systems users, in terms of comfort, reliability, safety and above all convenience, is critical in determining demand for transport services, at least when there is a choice of alternative ways to travel. Convenience is one of the strongest attractions of the private car for passenger transport. For users of public transport, convenience is also clearly important but not always clearly defined and not often measured in designing transport systems or monitoring their operating performance. In many situations, an increase in public transport convenience reduces the unit costs of travel (euros/dollars per hour or cents per minute) and so provides benefits equivalent to an increase in travel speed.

This report focuses on convenience and its importance to the user experience. It reviews operational definitions of convenience, evidence for the willingness of users to pay for convenience and the use of indicators to assess and improve the convenience of public transport, with a view to making it more effective and more competitive.


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Crowding on public transport for Île-de-france

International Transport Forum

Since the mid 90’s, public transport patronage in Île-de-France (the Paris region) has increased substantially: over the last decade alone a 20% growth was observed. This growth, even though it was an aim of the Sustainable Urban Mobility plan adopted in 2000, was not completely anticipated. Renewal of the rail infrastructure and rolling stock is necessary to cope with this situation. But renewal alone will not be enough. Major investments are planned to increase capacity by either building new lines, or by increasing capacity of existing lines. The Grand Paris Express is the best known of these projects. For the socio-economic appraisal, it is necessary to quantify all impacts of these investments. However, little is known about the value that passengers attach to these reduced congestion levels. The Syndicat des Transports en Île-de-France commissioned Significance in 2011 to conduct a new study focused on the perception of comfort inside public transport vehicles in general, and more particularly on the issue of crowding. This study covered all modes of public transport in Île-de-France.

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