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Reassessing the financial and social costs of public transport

Reassessing the financial and social costs of public transport
Reassessing the financial and social costs of public transport
Increasing urbanisation around the world has raised the passenger demand for public transport. Many public transport technologies are available to meet this demand. This paper develops a spreadsheet cost model that simulates public transport modes operated on a 12-km route and incorporates a new public transport mode, the straddle bus. Previous research has assumed that demand is exogenous (externally fixed). This work investigates the impact of endogenous demand, which varies with service level characteristics. Elasticities for passenger waiting time and in-vehicle time are used to assess actual passenger reactions to the attractiveness for different public transport technologies at different levels of demand. The result of this work shows the lowest average social and operator cost public transport technologies for different ranges of demand. Based on the default values used in the spreadsheet model, smaller size vehicles (e.g. personal rapid transit and minibus) dominate the low passenger demand range due to their short waiting times. Single-decker and double-decker buses appear to be the best option for a demand of around 3000–60 000 passengers per day (ppd), followed by the straddle bus (from around 60 000 to 100 000 ppd). The great capacity but high capital costs of underground make it the most cost-effective technology when other technologies are experiencing high congestion, with demand levels higher than 100 000 ppd.
economics & finance, social impact, transport planning
356-369
Li, Xucheng
339e8067-62d9-41c6-aaf6-88dd6250f43f
Preston, John
ef81c42e-c896-4768-92d1-052662037f0b
Li, Xucheng
339e8067-62d9-41c6-aaf6-88dd6250f43f
Preston, John
ef81c42e-c896-4768-92d1-052662037f0b

Li, Xucheng and Preston, John (2015) Reassessing the financial and social costs of public transport. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Transport, 168 (4), 356-369. (doi:10.1680/tran.12.00096).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Increasing urbanisation around the world has raised the passenger demand for public transport. Many public transport technologies are available to meet this demand. This paper develops a spreadsheet cost model that simulates public transport modes operated on a 12-km route and incorporates a new public transport mode, the straddle bus. Previous research has assumed that demand is exogenous (externally fixed). This work investigates the impact of endogenous demand, which varies with service level characteristics. Elasticities for passenger waiting time and in-vehicle time are used to assess actual passenger reactions to the attractiveness for different public transport technologies at different levels of demand. The result of this work shows the lowest average social and operator cost public transport technologies for different ranges of demand. Based on the default values used in the spreadsheet model, smaller size vehicles (e.g. personal rapid transit and minibus) dominate the low passenger demand range due to their short waiting times. Single-decker and double-decker buses appear to be the best option for a demand of around 3000–60 000 passengers per day (ppd), followed by the straddle bus (from around 60 000 to 100 000 ppd). The great capacity but high capital costs of underground make it the most cost-effective technology when other technologies are experiencing high congestion, with demand levels higher than 100 000 ppd.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 October 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 March 2015
Published date: 10 July 2015
Keywords: economics & finance, social impact, transport planning
Organisations: Transportation Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 378961
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/378961
PURE UUID: 701df64e-d12d-43d1-885a-de64fd6117fe
ORCID for John Preston: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6866-049X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Jul 2015 14:32
Last modified: 21 Nov 2021 02:57

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Contributors

Author: Xucheng Li
Author: John Preston ORCID iD

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