TRANSIT PRICE ELASTICITIES IN ST LOUIS

An elasticity analysis of a sample of 65 express and local transit routes in the St. Louis area, in both Missouri and Illinois, was undertaken to determine the effect of a November 1973 decrease in fares. (The zone system remained unchanged, and there was no change in level of service on the routes selected, so the fare decrease could be isolated as the factor in the any changes in ridership levels.) Two elasticity measures were used: arc elasticity (the ratio of the percentage change in transit utilization to that in price) and shrinkage ratio (the percentage change in ridership resulting from a one percent change in price). Although riders on four routes exhibited elastic behaviour, transit demand as a whole in the Bi-State region was inelastic to the fare reduction, perhaps because substantial ridership from the transit-dependent areas were already being attracted. In contrast to other urban areas, express riders in St. Louis exhibited more sensitivity to fare reduction than local riders. Ridership in Missouri was less responsive than that in Illinois, perhaps because the bus company operates far more service in Missouri and hence had already captured a substantial proportion of the market there. However, express transit demand in Illinois exhibited a composite are elasticity of-1.0, the threshold between inelastic and elastic demand. (It should be noted, in that instance, that the sample size of four routes was too small to draw reliable conclusion.) The composite are elasticity for all routes was -0.30. i.e. within the range observed in other cities. However, the conclusion of this study most important to those planning changes in an area's transit service is that ridership elasticity will vary with the type of route.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Paper from the Compendium of Technical Papers, Institute of Transportation Engineers 48th Annual Meeting, August 6-10, 1978, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)

    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Mundle, S R
    • Weidemann, W E
    • Roesch, S R
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 42-46

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00184600
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 3 1981 12:00AM