Quantifying the competitiveness of transit relative to taxi with multifaceted data

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - taxi, economics - value of time


Transit, competitiveness, generalized cost, hyperpath, value of time


This paper proposes an assessment framework to quantify the competitiveness of transit relative to a taxi-like service. The framework centers on a transit route builder, which searches, using a hyperpath-based algorithm, for the best available transit route that matches the origin and the destination of a given taxi trip. Based on the optimal transit route, we then measure the relative competitiveness of the transit service according to the preference of a rational traveler, which is determined by the generalized cost defined by fare, in-vehicle travel time and other service attributes. The framework is evaluated using a case study constructed with multifaceted data sources collected in Shenzhen, China. The results show that, while 90% of all taxi trips are faster than its best alternative transit option, only about 36% is shorter. Also, the relative competitiveness of transit decreases with the passenger's value of time, and increases with the average trip distance. We also find that the preference of the middle-income passengers for transit is the most sensitive to the changes in trip distance, mode (bus or rail) and fare.


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