Crowding valuation in urban tram and bus transportation based on smart card data

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - tram/light rail, operations - crowding, technology - ticketing systems, technology - passenger information, ridership - behaviour


Public transport, crowding, route choice, revealed preference, smart card data


Crowding in public transport can be of major influence on passengers’ travel experience and therefore affect route and mode choice. In this study, crowding valuation for urban tram and bus travelling is determined fully based on revealed preference data. Urban tram and bus crowding valuation is estimated in a European context based on a Dutch case study network. Based on the estimated discrete choice model, we conclude that crowding plays a significant role in passengers’ route choice in public transport. The average crowding multiplier of in-vehicle time equals 1.16 when all seats are occupied. For frequent travellers, this value is equal to 1.31. Our study results suggest that infrequent travellers do not incorporate expected crowding in their route choice. The insights gained from our study can support the decision-making process of policy-makers, by quantifying the benefits of measures aiming to reduce crowding levels for example in a cost–benefit analysis framework.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.