Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - value of time, mode - rail, place - australasia


rail, Sydney, on-board travel time, value of time, Consider price Index (CPI)


The value of rail time is an important economic parameter in the evaluation of many rail infrastructure projects, translating travel time savings into dollars to compare against project costs. For Sydney, the value of onboard train travel time has been estimated through Stated Preference market research. Three surveys have been undertaken over the last two decades. The first was undertaken in 1992; the second in 2003 and the third in 2010. Between 1992 and 2010, the value of time has been updated by reference to movements in fare and latterly by reference to wage rate indices. This paper describes the features of the three surveys and the values of time obtained and compares the values with other study estimates usually obtained as ‘by-products’ of patronage studies. The study looks at six alternative indices to update values of time and reviews the approaches used overseas. The alternative indices are then compared against the growth in the estimated values of time for Sydney. A composite index of the NSW wage index and the Consumer Price Index weighted in accordance with the share of employed and nonemployed passengers produced the closest fit.