Impacts of free concessionary travel: Case study of an English rural region

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, land use - impacts, ridership - elasticity, policy - fares, place - rural, mode - bus


Trend (Statistics), Surveys, Salisbury (England), Rural areas, Free fares, Elasticity (Economics), Discount fares, Case studies, Bus usage, Bus travel


Concessionary fares are offered to those aged 60 and over for bus travel in Britain. This study examines the effects of replacing a half-fare concession in England by free travel in April 2006. Aggregate data are used to examine trends; in addition, a large sample was obtained of pass holders in the Salisbury area, which enables a clear distinction to be drawn between increased travel by those who already held a half-fare pass, and travel by those taking up the pass for the first time. These data are then used to derive fare elasticities, and compare the characteristics of new passholders and those previously holding a half-fare pass. Comparisons are made with studies elsewhere. Overall policy implications are reviewed.


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