Improving quality of ordinary bus service in Kolkata city: Integrating conflicting requirements of users and transit operator

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - subsidy, mode - bus, place - asia, place - urban, planning - methods, planning - service improvement, planning - service quality, policy - fares, ridership - behaviour


Ordinary service, Captive riders, Operator, Travel behaviour


The requirement of heavy subsidy and poor service quality are the two major concerns of ordinary bus services in Indian cities. Improving quality of ordinary service as per the requirements of users without putting undue burden on transit operator in terms of additional subsidy is a major challenge for policymakers. A six-stage methodology is demonstrated in the present work for the improvement of ordinary bus services by incorporating the requirements of users and operator. The methodology largely includes selection of attributes for econometric model, development of econometric model, fixing the range of attributes’ level for improvement, and development and simulation of alternative scenarios. Taking three ordinary bus routes in Kolkata city, several scenarios were investigated to provide recommendations under two different cases (improvement with and without fare increment). The findings indicate that the quality of service could be improved without any increment in fare or additional subsidy from the Government. Such an improvement could benefit both users and Government. The benefit to user could be augmented further with a marginal fare increment and reduced subsidy from the Government. Although the methodology is demonstrated with reference to Kolkata city, it could be applied in other cities for deriving city-specific service design and improvement of bus services.


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


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