Treatment of seasonal tickets for public transport in estimation and application of mode/destination choice models

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting, ridership - modelling, policy - fares, economics - pricing


logit model, commuting, seasonal ticket


A new model system dealing with trips of length up to 100 km has recently been developed in Norway. A new way of dealing with seasonal passes for public transport is used in the travel-to-work model. The objective was to account for the fact that a respondent that posses a seasonal pass for public transport may behave as if public transport is free on the day they report a travel diary. On the other hand, we can not assume that public transport is free for respondents that used other modes of transport or that public transport is free to alternative destinations. This problem was solved by defining seasonal pass as a separate alternative in the form of a nest that included all modes of travel. The cost of a seasonal pass is a common cost for all modes in the nest and will thus not affect the choice within the nest. The estimation of this specification is compared with the more common approach of assigning an average cost per day based on the cost of a monthly pass and the number of workdays in a month. The comparison indicates that the “average cost per day” approach may produce biased estimates for several parameters. It also turns out that the cost parameter for seasonal pass is higher than the parameter for “out of pocket” cost, probably reflecting that there will be some uncertainty with respect to the actual use of a seasonal pass.