The impact of subsidised low-fare public transport on travel behaviour


A Hay

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, policy - fares


travel behaviour, bus trip rates, benefits, fares


In this paper, changes in travel behaviour in Sheffield - Rotherham (1972 - 1981) and Manchester - Salford (1976 - 1982) are compared with special reference to the effect of bus fare levels in real terms, which fell by about 70% in Sheffield - Rotherham but remained constant in Manchester - Salford. The analysis is directed to seven distinct household types, and overall changes in bus trip rates, estimated elasticities, effects on traffic congestion, city centre use, mobility of low mobility groups, and income redistribution are examined. The conclusion is made that although reducing real fares resulted in higher levels of bus patronage, evidence for the other beneficial effects was absent.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, copyright remains with them.