THE IMPACT OF FARES-FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT UPON URBAN LAND USE AND ACTIVITY PATTERNS

This paper investigates the possible changes in the structure of a city arising from the introduction of free public transport. In general, it can be argued that land rents fall as one moves away from the city centre, at a rate corresponding to the extra cost of transport to the centre, while density of development also decreases because more space is available at larger distances from the centre. If travel costs decrease because fares are eliminated, the rent gradient will tend to flatten, and this will eventually lead to a general decrease in density of development, and the further spread of the city. The authors discuss various extensions to this basic principle, taking into account, for example, that travel coss involve time as well as money, so that choice of where to live involves a consideration of how much time, from an available time budget, can be spent on travel. The model uses an expression for generalised cost which is proportional to distance travelled; setting of fares to zero halves this travel cost for public transport passengers. The model, which is of the "gravity" type, has been calibrated for the west midlands conurbation, where a fares-free policy is being considered, and construction and validation of the model is described briefly. Introduction of zero fares into the model produced an appreciable shift of population from the core of the conurbation to the periphery, with inner birmingham losing most residents, while central wolverhampton and walsall suffered smaller losses, and the outer suburbs making the greatest gains, with a smaller amount of resettlement in the area between the different city centres. On the assumption that zero fares reduce public transport genralised travel costs by 50%, about 10% of those workers who use public transport will be involved in the ensuing relocation (i.e. About 5% of the total population); for a smaller reduction in generalised travel cost the amount of relocation is proportionately smaller.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Reading University, England

    Whiteknights
    Reading RG6 2AB, Berkshire,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Batty, M
    • Hall, P
    • Starkie, D
  • Publication Date: 1974

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 22 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00132641
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Paper No. 26 Monograph
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 9 1981 12:00AM