Title

ECONOMIC AND STRUCTURAL DETERMINANTS OF THE DEMAND FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT: AN ANALYSIS ON A PANEL OF FRENCH URBAN AREAS USING SHRINKAGE ESTIMATORS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

ridership - mode choice, ridership - elasticity, ridership - demand, organisation - competition, place - urban, mode - mass transit

Keywords

Urban areas, Travel behavior, Transit, Time series, Supply, Public transit, Panel studies, Mode choice, Modal choice, Mass transit, Local transit, France, Elasticity (Economics), Economic analysis, Demand, Competition, Choice of transportation, Bayes' theorem

Abstract

This paper uses a panel data analysis of annual time series from 1975 to 1995 for 62 urban areas in France to study the economic and structural determinants of the demand for public transportation. The results obtained from a conventional fixed-effects model are compared with a Bayesian approach (shrinkage estimators), which allows the computation of elasticities for each urban area. First, considering only three economic determinants (vehicle km, income and price), the sensitivity of the estimates to the time period used for the estimation is shown. On the basis of these models, public transportation appears as an inferior good (i.e., its income elasticity is negative). By combining economic determinants with structural determinants (i.e., population aging, urban sprawl and growing car ownership) synthesized in a single indictor, the authors show that this income effect is in fact mainly a motorization effect. The competition with the automobile also appears through the cross-elasticity to the fuel price. Finally, the impact of supply is decomposed into a dominant effect of quantity (seats kilometers) and the weaker effects of quality (frequency and density of network). Findings show that the downward trend in public transportation patronage is mainly due to increasing car ownership, and that this effect will be less important over time since the growth of the car stock is decelerating. Results also show that the use of public transportation is quite sensitive to the volume supplied and to price, which complicates the financial equilibrium of this industry.

Comments

Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564