Consumers oriented investments in transit service quality improvements: The best bang for your buck

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - service improvement, planning - service quality, ridership - attitudes, ridership - behaviour, economics - willingness to pay, planning - signage/information, technology - intelligent transport systems


Stated preference experiment, Willingness to pay, Preference heterogeneity, Service quality improvement


Targeted transit quality improvement is essential to maintain ridership and attract car users. However, there remain the question about what are the best investments to increase the likelihood of transit utilization. This study aims at unveiling the broad-spectrum of transit users' preferences as well as their willingness to pay (WTP) for six service attributes. The study employed multinomial logit (MNL) interaction models and a random parameter logit (RPL) model to unveil preference heterogeneity in a choice experiment. The results revealed significant heterogeneity on customers' preferences and WTP towards service improvements due to variations in customers’ socioeconomic characteristics, travel behaviour and attitudes. For instance, females are willing to pay more to reduce service headway and the number of transfers, while males would pay more for at-stop real-time information provision. In a nutshell, effective transit quality improvements cannot ignore such heterogeneity, and should be tailored based on the targeted user type.


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


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