Travel time reliability: a review of late time valuations, elasticities and demand impacts in the passenger rail market in Great Britain

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, operations - reliability, operations - performance, ridership - attitudes


Rail reliability, Valuations of late time, Lateness elasticities


This paper provides an extensive review and reconciliation of British and European evidence relating to the value of, and demand responses to, rail reliability. In particular, we compare the elasticities implied by stated preference valuations of late time with directly estimated lateness elasticities. We find that the implied lateness elasticities are substantially greater than those directly estimated. A possible explanation for this is that lateness has been over-valued, but more sobering explanations would be to suggest that, whilst rail travellers dislike unreliability, they may be unwilling or unable to reduce their rail travel in response to experiences of poor performance, or else conventional economic approaches to deducing elasticities are not appropriate. The findings have been used to update the recommendations of the UK rail industry’s Passenger Demand Forecasting Handbook.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SpringerLink, copyright remains with them.