Capturing generalised cost differences between public transport modes in Stockholm

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Juan Manuel Lorenzo Varela
Andrew Daly

Decision makers in many European countries seem to prefer rail over bus services, claiming that travellers prefer services operating on tracks, the preference is referred to as a “rail factor”. This assumption is to some extent supported by Eliasson’s (2016) finding that accessibility by metro increases the property prices of apartments in Stockholm more than accessibility by bus. Nevertheless, common large-scale transport models struggle to capture these effects.

In this paper we show how state-of-practice large-scale models can be enhanced to capture these nuances by modelling public transport modes as different alternatives. Results suggest that differences among public transport alternatives are strongly linked to unobserved attributes. Surprisingly, we found no statistical evidence that differences are proportional to the in-vehicle time, suggesting that in-vehicle characteristics of public transport modes, such us comfort, are perceived as similar by the users. We also found that the value of time is higher for auxiliary modes than for the main mode, and that the unobserved preference for metro is highest and the preference for light rail lowest. These are empirical findings for the transport system of Stockholm, and whether these findings can be generalised to other cities is an empirical matter. However, the methodology developed in the present paper provides the possibility to investigate these issues further.

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