The asymmetric effects of gasoline prices on public transportation use in Taiwan

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - mass transit, ridership - demand, ridership - behaviour, planning - travel demand management, operations - scheduling


Gasoline prices, Public transportation use, Asymmetric threshold cointegration test


This study investigates the asymmetric effects of gasoline prices on public transportation use in Taiwan. The empirical results obtained are as follows. First, we verify that gasoline price is an important determinant of transit demand. Gasoline prices have significantly positive effects on bus and mass rapid transit (MRT) use. Second, MRT ridership is more sensitive than bus and railway ridership to gasoline price and income. In the face of oil prices escalation and economic growth, the MRT system should have higher priority in public transportation planning. Third, the effects of gasoline prices on bus and MRT use are asymmetric. Bus and MRT use increases faster when gasoline prices rise than it decreases when gasoline prices fall. The transit agencies should adjust operating strategies faster in the rising of oil prices than in the falling of oil prices. It is important for transit planning to use oil prices as signals and increase the flexibility of operation in dealing with the changes in ridership. Some strategies, such as enhancing the availability of transfer information and updating transit information timely, are helpful to move passengers efficiently.


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


Transportation Research Part D Home Page: