Direct Ridership Models of Bus Rapid Transit and Metro Systems in Mexico City, Mexico


Nicolae Duduta

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - interchange/transfer, infrastructure - station, land use - smart growth, mode - bus rapid transit, mode - subway/metro, planning - travel demand management, ridership - demand, ridership - mode choice, place - north america


Direct ridership models, travel demand modeling, transit ridership, bus rapid transit, Metro networks


Direct ridership models (DRM) have been introduced in the United States as an alternative to four-step travel demand modeling. DRMs can be used to obtain quick, order-of-magnitude estimates of transit patronage at a fraction of the cost of a full travel demand model and are more adept at capturing the effects of smart growth on transit ridership. The relatively low cost, flexible data requirements, and rapidity make these models particularly suited to developing world cities. Yet these cities still rely almost exclusively on full travel demand models to advise investments in new transit infrastructure. In doing so, cities often use old data and out-of-date household surveys and do not capture important recent changes in travel patterns. Mexico City, Mexico, is taken as a case study to illustrate the benefits of using DRM models in a developing world context. Ridership models are developed for the city's bus rapid transit and Metro networks to study how land use and service and station attributes affect ridership for each mode and also how connections between bus rapid transit and Metro affect each other's ridership. The two systems are complementary, each getting ridership benefits from connecting to the other. Implications of findings for transport policy in Mexico City are discussed, as well as some short-comings of DRM models, particularly their difficulty in accounting for informal transit.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.