Effect of Price Reduction and Increased Service Frequency on Public Transport Travel


Inge Brechan

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - pricing, operations - frequency, ridership - growth, ridership - behaviour


public transport, service frequency, price reduction


A random effects meta-analysis of the results from 15 projects involving price reduction and 9 projects involving increased service frequency showed that both price reduction and increased service frequency generated public transport travels. On average, the increased service frequency projects generated more travels by public transport than the price reduction projects. In the increased service frequency projects the proportion of travels generated by the increased frequency was strongly influenced by the size of the frequency increase. In the price reduction projects, we did not find a significant effect of the size of the price reduction on the proportion of travels generated by the price reduction. Finding that people’s use of public transport was related to the extent of the service offered suggests they have a need for transport that can be fulfilled with public transport. Although people appreciate lower fares in general, finding that use of public transport was not significantly related to the size of a price change suggests the effect of price change is uncertain.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by the Journal of Public Transportation, copyright remains with them.