Fare discrimination and daily demand distribution in the BRT system in Bogotá

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, mode - bus rapid transit, policy - fares, policy - congestion, ridership - demand, ridership - behaviour, planning - travel demand management


Pricing policies, Peak-problem, Public transport fares, Fare impact assessment, Bogotá, Transmilenio


Bogotá transport authority changed Bus Rapid Transit (Transmilenio) fares in August 2012 to manage congestion, particularly during peak hours. They reduced fares and implemented fare discrimination between peak and off-peak hours to balance demand and make the system more affordable. To estimate the variation in the relative distribution of daily demand between peak and off-peak hours, we used information pertaining to passenger demand on working days. Our main data source was the number of entrances into Transmilenio stations daily between 2011 and 2013. The data before the fare intervention was gathered between March 2011 and July 2012. Post intervention data was gathered between August 2012 and December 2013. We assumed that the users’ observable characteristics did not change either before or after the intervention was carried out. The fares decreased from a flat fare of COP 1750 (1 USD = 1780 COP in August 2012) to COP 1700 in peak hours and to COP 1400 in off-peak hours. This paper proposes a fixed effects model to estimate the effect of fare reduction in the ratio between peak and off-peak ridership hours. The results suggest that fare reduction produced changes in demand behaviour between peak and off-peak hours, reducing the peak to off-peak demand ratio (P/oP) by around 9%. This change has different levels of impact depending on the income levels associated with each Transmilenio station, with a stronger impact in low-income zones.


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