SUMMARY OF EXPERIENCE WITH TRANSIT PRICING

It is noted that although the major concern in deciding on transit service and fare levels should be with the direct transportation consequences, there are many other less direct considerations that may also legitimately influence pricing decisions. Five influences on pricing decisions are noted and discussed; Efficiency, from the theoretical microeconomist viewpoint; management and political considerations; analysis of the travel behavior of individuals through the development of cross-sectional disaggregate behavioral models of travel demand and modal or route choice and through the application of the techniques of attitudinal survey research; experimentation by transit agencies of new pricing and service initiatives; and, the increasing use of the more sophisticated analysis of transit patrons' response to changes in fare and service levels. The author notes that analysis must explicity take into account such complex facts as that demands responses to a whole package of service features; that it is impossible to have a major fare adjustment without also affecting service quality in some way, and that there are many factors external to the transit system that lead to variations in patronage across routes or through time. Unless we are able to turn our efforts to investigating cause and effect in a logically rigorous fashion, it is likely that our model of what happens when the transit system is changed will be purious.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper appeared in Transportation Research Board Special Report No. 181, Urban Transportation Economics. It contains proceedings of Five Workshops on Pricing Alternatives, Economic Regulations, Labor Issues, Marketing, and Government Financing Responsibilities held by Transportation Research Board. Sponsored by Office of the Secretary, Federal Highway Administration, and Urban Mass Transportation Administration of DOT; Environmental Protection Agency; and Federal Energy Administration. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Kemp, Michael A
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 38-39
  • Monograph Title: URBAN TRANSPORTATION ECONOMICS
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00176483
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 14 1981 12:00AM