The role of station accessibility, multimodal competitions and contextual variables in retaining customer base of urban commuter rails

The topic of transit loyalty has been marginalized in transportation literature. Nevertheless, in recent years, an interest in understanding the factors that affect transit loyalty has developed. This paper uses data from a passenger survey conducted by GO rail – the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area regional rail service – to investigate the factors that influence transit user loyalty. In addition to transit service attributes and user characteristics, the composite costs of station access and use of competing for alternative modes are combined to estimate a random utility maximization based econometric model. Results showed that the age of the traveller seems to have the highest positive effect on longer-term retention. The ease of access to GO stations also plays a role as a higher access cost reduces long-term user retention. Further, alternative competing modes to GO rail reduces shorter-term retention (less than 5 years) but also increases longer-term retention. Transit-oriented land use policies that encourage heavy residential development in proximity to rail stations can lead to an increase in customer retention. Similarly, transit policies that aim to improve GO rail services through increasing train frequencies or improving capacity could also lead to higher customer loyalty.


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  • Accession Number: 01703127
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 22 2019 3:14PM