Public transport competitiveness vs. the car: Impact of relative journey time and service attributes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting, ridership - mode choice, ridership - demand, planning - service level, planning - surveys


Public transport, Commuting, Revealed preference, Public transport competitiveness, Public transport planning


In order to give empirically based policy advice on public transport (PT) competitiveness, we have studied revealed mode choice for commuting trips. This has been done by combining data on mode choice from the Norwegian National Travel Survey (NTS) with evidence-based, as opposed to static level-of-service data, trip characteristics extracted from Google Maps’ travel planner. This combination enables us to explore the demand and market effects of relative travel times and other non-monetary PT quality factors. Our main finding is that high PT shares require that all of the studied factors; efficient travel times, direct routes or few transfers, and high service frequency is in place. If either one of these are not in place, the market share for PT is significantly reduced. The study contributes to the literature on transport mode choice by combining travel characteristics with revealed mode choice data, and showing how the relative travel time and other service attributes affect the choice of PT over car on commute trips.


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


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