Identifying commuter preferences for existing modes and a proposed Metro in Sydney, Australia with special reference to crowding

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, operations - capacity, operations - crowding, operations - frequency, place - australasia


Mode choice, New mode, Stated choice, Crowding, Frequency, Willingness to pay, Survey design


In 2009, the New South Wales government announced that it would be proceeding with a feasibility study to identify the patronage potential of a new Metro rail system for Sydney. As part of this study, a new modal choice study was undertaken to establish the role of traditional attributes such as travel times and costs (and more recently, reliability) but also somewhat neglected influences such as crowding, where the later has a critical role in the calculation of capacity needs at railway stations. This paper focuses on the commuter segment and develops a new stated choice experiment in which travellers are able to compare the proposed new Metro with existing available modal alternatives for access, linehaul and egress trip stages, with a particular emphasis on the incorporation of crowding represented by the availability of a seat vs. standing in existing and new public transport modes. We present the error component choice model together with estimates of mode-specific willingness to pay for travel time components, service frequency and crowding, that latter expressed in terms of the probability of getting a seat and the probability of avoiding standing.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Journal of Public Transport, copyright remains with them.