Delivering Travel Benefits - Does Your Travel Mode Matter?

Delivering Travel Benefits - Does Your Travel Mode Matter?


P Le Masurier, I Burden, MVA Consultancy, UK; P Cobain, CENTRO, UK


For some years the UK transport industry has argued whether high quality bus services can deliver the same benefit as tram networks. How do travellers perceive trams, bus rapid transit and normal bus services? Does mode really matter?


For some years the passenger transport industry in the UK has argued over the extent to which quality bus schemes can provide the same attractive service offering as a tram. The cost differentials are fairly clear, it?s the relative benefits that are disputed. A prime example is the situation in West Yorkshire where the Leeds SuperTram proposals were shelved ? replaced with plans for a Quality Bus system, seemingly on the grounds that the cost of build/implementation were much reduced compared with a tram system but the benefits would be almost the same.

This paper will present the findings of new research that established the relative benefits (in financial and time-saving terms) of old and new trams, and quality bus and standard bus services in the West Midlands. These benefits were derived through the use of stated preference surveys with public transport and car users, with the results forming a major input into subsequent modelling and appraisal of the Phase 2 Midland Metro schemes.
The Paper will:

i) provide an overview of difference in aspects of service quality between modes and how modelling parameters used in forecasting vary between a number of light rail and quality bus schemes, drawing on experience in both the UK and elsewhere;

ii) provide a case study evaluating the relative benefits of the existing Metro service, new Metro services and Bus Rapid Transit (compared with a standard bus service) in the West Midlands;

iii) clearly define the types of vehicle/system under consideration by survey respondents, and present the perceived differences in quality as modal constants, expressed, for the modellers in the audience, as both fixed ?modal constants? and in a variable form that increases as journey time increases; and

iv) provide conclusions and implications for future standard appraisal and evaluation procedures of new public transport schemes.


Association for European Transport