THE EFFECTS OF SIMPLIFIED FARE STRUCTURE AND TICKETING IN URBAN PUBLIC TRANSPORT OPERATIONS

Study of the fare structures and fare collection methods used by urban public transport in the United Kingdom and elsewhere reveals enormous differences in policy. British operators tend to prefer "graduated" fares with several fare values, whilst on the European mainland and in the United States simpler flat or zonal structures dominate. Similarly, off-vehicle ticketing (travelcards and multiride tickets) is a much more common form of fare collection abroad than in Britain. Much of the explanation for this situation lies in the apparent conviction held by British operators that any deviation from the policy of graduated fares paid in single cash amounts would involve a loss of revenue and/or ridership. Very little research has been done to determine the effects of fares and ticketing simplification upon UK-type operations, and results tend to be inconclusive when viewed collectively. This paper reviews experience gained from the monitoring of a simplified fare and off-bus ticketing experiment in Plymouth - a city of 250000 - during early 1982. Following this, a model has been developed which tests the revenue and ridership consequences of a wide range of fare structures. Passenger response to the different structures is derived by applying a range of elasticities to the fare changes pertinent to individual passenger categories. Overall findings from both the Plymouth experiment and the simulation exercise indicate that with careful design and pricing, simplified fare structures and ticketing need not cause major financial loss. Important advantages can be gained in terms of operating and cost savings and ability to market a product which is simple and convenient to use. However, flat fares consistently yield less revenue for a given fare level than zonal or graduated ones. (Author/TRRL)

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 55-67

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00382769
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-86050-112-4
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Volume P240
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 30 1984 12:00AM