Experience with the development of off-peak bus services


Ian P. Wallis

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - australasia, planning - service improvement, planning - travel demand management, operations - frequency


New Zealand, Australia, bus


This research was undertaken in 2010–2011 to appraise evidence from three New Zealand cities (Auckland, Dunedin, Hamilton) and four Australian cities (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth) on the market impacts of improvements in urban bus services at off-peak periods. The primary focus was on the estimation of patronage changes and the corresponding demand elasticities in response to service frequency changes.

Particular attention was given to the following aspects of service frequency impacts, as measured through elasticities: impacts in the various off-peak periods (principally weekday interpeak, weekday evening, Saturday, Sunday); progressive impacts over time following the service change; and variations in elasticities according to initial service frequency, extent of service change, direction (increase/decrease) of service change, and other service and market characteristics.

Recommendations have been made on the most appropriate set of service frequency elasticities, for the various off-peak periods, to be used in New Zealand and Australia for assessing the impacts of bus service improvement schemes over the short and medium terms.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by NZ Transport Agency. This publication is copyright © NZ Transport Agency 2013. Material in it may be reproduced for personal or in-house use without formal permission or charge, provided suitable acknowledgement is made to this publication and the NZ Transport Agency as the source. Requests and enquiries about the reproduction of material in this publication for any other purpose should be made to the Research Programme Manager, Programmes, Funding and Assessment, National Office, NZ Transport Agency, Private Bag 6995, Wellington 6141.