An investigation of route-choice in integrated public transport networks by risk-averse users

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, ridership - behaviour, planning - integration, planning - service improvement


Public transport, Transfers, Risk-aversion, Route-choice, Service quality


Globally, transport agencies are implementing integrated public transport systems to increase ridership. Transfers are a key component of such integrated systems; they facilitate connectivity among modes, allowing the system to function in unison. It is well known that transfers can cause users to feel anxious, due to the possibility of missed connections. The public transport network in Auckland, New Zealand, is undergoing a transformation into an integrated system, which means more routes with transfers are replacing direct routes. This study examines the route choice of public transport users when faced with multiple routes involving transfers. Four sub-models are developed to create the Route Choice Model. One of the contributions of the present study is the development of the Risk-Aversion sub-model, which provides a straight-forward representation of users’ risk profiles for route-choice associated with transfers. These four sub-models are applied to a proposed integrated public transport network to determine the ridership of the new routes involving transfers. The socio-economic characteristics included in this study are gender and age. The findings show that females are more risk-averse than male users, and that users aged 40 or over are more risk-averse than those under 40. Overall, users who are more risk-averse prefer the transfer options if the service is reliable, and the transfer waiting time is relatively short in proportion to the overall journey time. Future research is encouraged to investigate the effects of other socio-economic characteristics on users’ decisions to make transfers, using the findings to make further improvements to the network.


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