Exploring the causal impact of transit fare exemptions on older adults’ travel behavior: Evidence from the Seoul metropolitan area
place - asia, place - urban, mode - subway/metro, ridership - old people, ridership - behaviour, policy - fares
Fare-free transit, Transit subsidy, Regression discontinuity, Causality
This study examines how a transportation policy enabling free subway travel for older adults affects their travel behavior. It improves upon previous research by identifying the causal effects of a fare-free transit policy for older adults on a wider range of travel behavior. Using a regression discontinuity research design, this study investigates how eligibility for fare-free subway rides (the age-65 threshold) influences travel behavior among older adults in the Seoul metropolitan area, South Korea. The results show that the fare-free subway policy for older adults increases the number of subway trips, which partly replaces trips by other transportation modes. Specifically, a discrete jump in the number of subway trips at age 65 replaces some auto trips and contributes to a significant reduction in household vehicle ownership. However, eligibility for the subway fare exemption has no statistically significant effects on outcomes related to social/leisure trips, although it does have varying impact on active travel by the level of household income. In addition to offering valuable lessons for cities with a similar policy, the findings of this study inform current debates on the fare-free subway policy in South Korea.
Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.
Shin, E.J. (2021). Exploring the causal impact of transit fare exemptions on older adults’ travel behavior: Evidence from the Seoul metropolitan area. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Vol. 149, pp. 319-338.
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