Title

THE MAIN DETERMINANTS OF THE DEMAND FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF ENGLAND AND FRANCE USING SHRINKAGE ESTIMATORS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2003

Subject Area

planning - service quality, ridership - mode choice, ridership - elasticity, ridership - demand, policy - fares, place - urban, mode - mass transit

Keywords

Variables, Urban areas, Travel models (Travel demand), Travel demand, Transportation policy, Transit, Time periods, Shrinkage estimators, Service quality, Ridership, Random-coefficient model, Quality of service, Public transit, Patronage (Transit ridership), Passenger service quality, Panel studies, Mode choice, Modal choice, Methodology, Methodologies, Mass transit, Local transit, Income, France, Fares, England, Elasticity (Economics), Econometric models, Dynamic models, Demand, Counties, Choice of transportation

Abstract

This paper extends two projects, one in England and one in France, that involve the dynamic econometric modeling of factors determining public transportation use. In this study, the impacts of factors such as changes in fares, service supply and income on the demand for public transportation in English counties and French urban areas are investigated using a panel approach. Both short- and long-run elasticities are estimated. The study has two objectives. The first is methodological, and is concerned with heterogeneity among areas within each country. The second is to compare estimated elasticities for France and England by using a common methodology and set of variables, and a similar time period. Either a fixed- or random-effect model is often used to account for heterogeneity in panel data analysis, which relies on the hypothesis that elasticities are the same for all areas. Having shown that this hypothesis is not valid for these data sets, this study accounts for the heterogeneity among areas by using a random-coefficients approach and Bayesian shrinkage estimators. The results show a considerable variation in elasticities among areas within each country. This study indicates that public transportation demand is relatively sensitive to fare changes, so that policy measures aimed at fare reduction can play an important role in encouraging the use of public transportation. Findings also indicate that service is at least as important as fare, which suggests that service improvements can compensate for fare increases. Differences in estimated fare and service elasticities in France and England can largely be explained in differences in data definition and study scope. However, differences in income elasticities suggest that public transportation is considered less of an inferior good in France than in England.

Comments

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