Who benefits from bus rapid transit? Evidence from the Metro Bus System (MBS) in Lahore

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - bus rapid transit, ridership - commuting, economics - subsidy


Bus rapid transit, Mobility, Gender


Bus rapid transit (BRT) is a popular mode for government investment in public infrastructure, particularly in developing countries where capital resources are scarce. Enthusiastic evaluations of BRT systems worldwide are perhaps premature given that most such systems have been operational for only a short time. Further, little research on BRT systems from the user perspective is evident in the literature. The latter is problematic because one justification for government investment in BRT is the social benefit such systems bestow on groups who are traditionally without access to private modes of transportation. In order to explore the purported social benefits of a BRT system two series of multiple logistic regression models are fit. The first uses disaggregate data from inside a BRT service area and the second uses disaggregate data from inside and from outside a BRT service area. The rider and the commuter data sources, respectively, help to understand who benefits from the new Metro Bus System (MBS) in Lahore and how. To that end, descriptive results show that women are less representative of riders and of commuters, but inferential results show that females are more likely to commute via the MBS. In addition, usage patterns show that females are more habitual users and that they benefit greatly from the fare subsidy. Finally, efforts to further integrate the MBS with the greater public transportation network in Lahore will help to mitigate the monetary and the temporal costs of MBS usage which more so affect females.


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


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