Waiting for the bus

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus


In a natural experiment, college students riding public transit to UCLA were presented with the opportunity to pay for time savings. They could pay 75¢ to travel right away, or wait an average of 5.3 minutes for a free ride. Eighty-six percent of riders chose to wait rather than pay. Their behavior suggests that the disutility of time spent waiting for a free ride is less than $8.50 per hour. Riders overestimated their wait time by a factor of two when it was imposed by the transit system, but accurately estimated their wait time when they chose to wait for the free bus ride.


Permission to publish the abstract given by the Journal of Public Transportation.