Meta-analysis of price elasticities of travel demand in great britain: Update and extension


Mark Wardman

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - bus, mode - car, mode - rail, ridership - demand, ridership - forecasting


Meta-analysis, Transportation price elasticities, Length of long run, Rail demand, Bus demand, Car demand


Price elasticities are widely used in transport planning, forecasting and appraisal. This paper presents the largest ever meta-analysis of price elasticities of travel demand based on 2023 elasticities drawn from 204 British studies published between 1968 and 2020. A large number of credible variations in elasticities emerge that add to the evidence base, challenge some official recommendations and are useful to practitioners. The paper also presents an original meta-analysis of the length of time until the long run is achieved, based on 386 observations obtained from 47 studies. This is an important complement to the price elasticity meta-analysis and it also challenges official recommendations. Whilst the research is based on British evidence, the insights of a methodological nature at the least are transferable to other contexts.


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


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