Potential demand for bus commuting trips in metropolitan corridors through the use of real-time information tools

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, ridership - perceptions, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting, planning - surveys, planning - signage/information, technology - intelligent transport systems


Bus passengers, metropolitan corridor, real-time information, transit apps


Mobility in metropolitan rings is often more car-dependent than in urban cores. Buses are emerging as an efficient option to promote sustainable mobility in metropolitan corridors, although they are perceived as being less reliable than rail or the car. The adoption of real-time information (RTI) tools for passengers can mitigate this issue. This paper aims (i) to explore the potential bus demand in metropolitan corridors, and (ii) to understand how bus passengers use RTI public transport mobile applications. Both aims are oriented to attract more passengers toward public transport. A two-step methodological framework has been established to perform this analysis in the Madrid Region. Data from the 2014 Household Mobility Survey reveal that metropolitan bus potential is three times the current bus ridership, and almost double in transport corridors linked to motorways than in transversal and other metropolitan trips. An ad-hoc survey of bus travelers was conducted in one corridor to capture the use of RTI mobile apps. The results show that multimodal commuters tend to consult several apps, since none of the main apps integrates all the multimodal RTI for their trips. Non-regular bus passengers are more likely to consult a general-purpose app such as Google Maps, while frequent bus commuters prefer to use the official public transport authority app. Improving the multimodal information passengers receive through transit apps could ease their trips and help materialize some of the potential bus demand in metropolitan areas.


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