Are public transport policies influencing the transport behaviour of older people and economic equity? A case study of the Madrid Region

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, economics - subsidy, ridership - old people, planning - surveys, policy - equity, policy - fares


Transport policy, Impact evaluation, Fare transport subsidies, Elderly


This article assesses the impact of a subsidy for public transport prices in the Madrid Region for the elderly on PT and automotive household expenditures. Data from the Spanish Household Budget Survey and a discontinuity regression model are used to analyse this PT policy from an equity and efficiency point of view. The results show that as a consequence of this public policy, households from quartiles 1 and 2 whose main-breadwinner is elderly and not employed have reduced their expenditure on PT by 83.9% and 65.3% respectively, and households from quartile 1 having an employed and elderly main-breadwinner have reduced it by 106.4%. All these households have been the main beneficiaries of the policy in terms of economic well-being. Therefore, in distributive and equity terms these subsidies benefit the poorest households among those whose main breadwinner is an elderly, and the richest ones. In terms of efficiency, the high increase of the relative price of automotive fuel due to PT subsidization has only had an impact on households in which the main breadwinner is elderly and not employed, concretely those households from quartiles 1, 2, and 3 have reduced their expenditure on automotive fuel by 38.8%, 30.3% and 51.9%, respectively.


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


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