Measuring the Willingness to Pay for the Gautrain in South Africa



Measuring the Willingness to Pay for the Gautrain in South Africa

Authors

H Lu, Jacobs Consultancy, UK

Description

This paper explores the impact of introduction of Gautrain on passenger demand. This paper aims to explain traveller?s behaviour in the Johannesburg ? Pretoria traffic corridor, their values of time and preference for using the Gautrain.

Abstract

Gautrain is a mass rapid transit railway system under construction in Gauteng Province, South Africa. The 80-kilometre network comprises two links: from Pretoria to Johannesburg and from OR Tambo International Airport to Sandton. The 160 km/h train is being constructed primarily to relieve traffic congestion in the Johannesburg ? Pretoria traffic corridor, improve accessibility to Johannesburg?s rapidly expanding international airport and promote economic development at key growth nodes. Gautrain provides an international standard public transport network with high levels of reliability, comfort and safety as a supplement to the limited high quality public transport infrastructure in Gauteng.
Behavioural values adopted in Gautrain mode and route choice models have been primarily based upon a stated preference research. The Stated Preference (SP) method is adopted in the absence of any existing implementation of a Gautrain?type rail service within South Africa from which revealed preference data might be available. The SP-derived values are supplemented by the analysis of O-D survey data as well as some behavioural data on the actual mode choice for the corridor.
This paper aims to explain traveller?s behaviour in the Johannesburg ? Pretoria traffic corridor, their values of time and preference for using the Gautrain. This paper explores the impact of introduction of Gautrain on passenger demand.
SP methods have been used extensively in transport research and elsewhere both for demand forecasting purposes and to value the importance attached to different product features and travel attributes. This paper reviews UK and international studies on the influence of the introduction of high speed train on the mode and route choice using SP methods. Based on the review, a set of SP experiments were developed to investigate potential Gautrain users? value of time and willingness to pay for the new high speed train, travellers? attitude towards the Gautrain, as well as other mode choice information for demand forecasting.
After careful consideration, three segments were selected for the SP survey: car users, airport passengers and public transport users in the corridor. The SP design was customised by different journey purpose (business and non-business). Separate models were estimated for different user class and access/egress mode to/from the Gautrain stations (by car and feeder bus).
After two pilot surveys, the main survey was conducted in November 2008. Responses were obtained from 900 travellers in the corridor, which formed a good base for the exploration of travellers? behaviour and mode choice.
In the questionnaires, two SP games were presented to each respondent with one same mode SP (based on the current travel mode) and between modes (Gautrain vs. Current mode) in the binary choice format.
The data were analysed using the standard multinomial logit model (MNL), nested logit model (NL) and Mixed Logit model (MXL). Model estimation was focussed on travellers? value of time savings, willingness to pay for using Gautrain and the relative values attached to the Gautrain service (such as service frequency, walking and interchange penalty, preferred boarding and alighting stations, access and egress mode, preference for the feeder bus service). The variation in values across individuals and markets was also explored.
In addition to its application in demand forecasting for Gautrain, this study investigated the SP survey application in the South Africa context. Further discussion on the influence of the SP design on the pattern of SP values is presented. The results are compared with the findings of previous studies in a similar context. Some interesting findings are emerged.

Publisher

Association for European Transport