On the Value of Punctuality on Suburban Trains to and from Paris

On the Value of Punctuality on Suburban Trains to and from Paris


L Debrincat, J Goldberg, STIF, FR; M Kouwenhoven, E Kroes, RAND Europe, NL; H Duchateau, STRATEC, BE


This paper deals with the issue of the effects of delays on rail passengers


Delayed trains cause a lot of nuisance to their passengers. The effects of delays range from minor annoyances to major frustration and disbenefits, and ultimately lost passengers. In order to quantify the effects of train delays on suburban rail connections in the Paris region, the Syndicat des Transports de l?Ile-de-France (STIF) commissioned RAND Europe and STRATEC to carry out a research programme aiming to answer the following questions:

1. What is the size of the current dispunctuality?
2. How does dispunctuality affect rail passengers?
3. How do rail passenger value dispunctuality?
4. How can the benefits of measures to improve punctuality be assessed?

In order to answer these questions research was carried out including (a) a literature review, (b) a statistical analysis of actual statistics of train delays, (c) counts and interviews of passengers arriving at railway stations, (d) qualitative research among rail passengers, and (e) a large SP survey among rail passengers.

Our paper will briefly sketch the study context and summarise the main results of all study elements. But we will focus mainly on the design and results of the SP research. The paper will describe the SP survey instrument, the fieldwork outcomes, the model estimation results and the tool that was developed to quantify the benefits of projects proposed to improve punctuality. This will be illustrated by means of an elaborated example, where a proposed new type of rail service operation for the connection from the Gare du Nord to the North-East will be assessed in terms of its punctuality impact.

The research has concluded that rail passengers are clearly risk averse, and consequently measures improving train punctuality yield very significant benefits.


Association for European Transport