Estimation of a route choice model for urban public transport using smart card data

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, technology - passenger information, technology - ticketing systems, ridership - behaviour


urban public transport, route choice model, smart card data, revealed preference data, Žilina


This paper describes a logit model of route choice for urban public transport and explains how the archived data from a smart card-based fare payment system can be used for the choice set generation and model estimation. It demonstrates the feasibility and simplicity of applying a trip-chaining method to infer passenger journeys from smart card transactions data. Not only origins and destinations of passenger journeys can be inferred but also the interchanges between the segments of a linked journey can be recognised. The attributes of the corresponding routes, such as in-vehicle travel time, transfer walking time and to get from alighting stop to trip destination, the need to change, and the time headway of the first transportation line, can be determined by the combination of smart card data with other data sources, such as a street map and timetable. The smart card data represent a large volume of revealed preference data that allows travellers' behaviour to be modelled with higher accuracy than by using traditional survey data. A multinomial route choice model is proposed and estimated by the maximum likelihood method, using urban public transport in Žilina, the Slovak Republic, as a case study.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.