Title

THE FACTORS INFLUENCING FUTURE CONCESSIONARY BUS PATRONAGE IN SCOTLAND AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR ELSEWHERE

Authors

T Rye
D Scotney

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

ridership - old people, policy - fares, mode - bus

Keywords

United Kingdom, Trend (Statistics), Subsidies, Senior citizens, Scotland, Ridership, Policy analysis, Patronage (Transit ridership), Older people, Old people, Local transportation, Intracity bus transportation, Great Britain, Elderly persons, Discount fares, Case studies, Bus usage, Bus travel, Bus transit operations, Bus transit, Automobile ownership, Aged

Abstract

More generous concessionary bus fares have recently been introduced for the elderly on local buses in the U.K. However, the increase in patronage that these changes may bring masks the influence of changing car ownership on elderly people's bus use. This paper uses data from Scotland and the U.K. more generally to provide an analysis of likely changes in bus use by elderly people over the next 13 years. Findings show that the number of total trips would be likely to remain constant in the absence of scheme changes, in spite of a 19% increase in the total number of elderly people. The new concessions will increase ridership in the short and medium term, but strong growth in car ownership in the age group eligible for a concession will significantly dampen this increase in the longer term. When ridership, particularly off-peak, is dominated by elderly passengers, the impacts of rising car ownership on levels of patronage will require either additional subsidy or cuts in service levels. These results also raise questions on the wisdom of allowing operators to set fares and then subsiding the user rather than subsidising the operator directly and allowing a franchising body to set general fare and concessionary requirements.

Comments

Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X