Estimating policy values for in-vehicle comfort and crowding reduction in local public transport

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - tram/light rail, mode - subway/metro, economics - willingness to pay, economics - value of time, operations - crowding, policy - congestion


Comfort, Crowding, CBA policy, Willingness to pay, Value of travel time savings, Multiplier


This study estimates policy values for comfort, defined as getting a seat, and crowding reduction on board local public transport in Sweden. We use stated-preference (SP) data and present crowding as a mode-neutral crowding level among the standing travelers depicted in images presented to the respondents. We analyze whether there are differences in the willingness to pay (WTP) for comfort and crowding reduction among the three largest urban areas in Sweden. In general, we find no significantly different preferences for sitting and crowding reduction among the three urban areas. Still, the point estimates differ in some cases, indicating that there may be differences across the three urban areas, but the estimates have large confidence intervals that overlap each other. Also, these differences are likely to have resulted from mode-share differences and not from differences in preferences across the urban areas. Some significant differences are found among the modes, for example, a higher disutility of standing on a bus versus on a tram. These mode-specific estimates can be used as policy values for a given tram line or metro line. Nevertheless, we also pooled the data suggesting average WTP estimates for sitting and crowding reductions that can be used for national cost–benefit analysis policy in all large urban areas in Sweden where crowding on local public transport occurs. Importantly, analysis of heterogeneity and SP-design differences shows that the results are in line with empirical knowledge of the value of travel time savings.


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


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