All Day and All of the Night
John Hawthorne, Jacobs
What are the underlying drivers of demand for all-night public transport services, and are there constraints on service provision? Is there a gap between user expectations and operators’ willingness and capability to deliver?
Many towns and cities are now served by some form of all night public transport, and there is growing public and political awareness of the “night-time economy” with associated pressure to expand public transport coverage.
Long-established networks have evolved as the focus has shifted between work and leisure use, with a greater emphasis on services at weekends. Route networks have expanded and ridership has increased.
Yet the introduction of new services is not always as simple as anticipated. For example, initial plans to introduce the “Night Tube in London from September 2015 had still not come into effect in February 2016, nor was there a firm date for introduction.
This paper looks at a number of current and planned all-night networks, seeks to understand the underlying drivers of demand and constraints on service provision, and considers the gap between user expectations and operators’ willingness and capability to deliver.
In particular it considers:
- What drives the demand or justification for all night public transport? Is it commercially viable or a social benefit?
- When does day become night? Do operator assumptions align with user expectations?
- Can night services influence daytime mode shift? Will afternoon and evening ridership increase?
- What are the operational differences between daytime and night services? Are some modes better suited for night services than others
- Should night services be integrated with the daytime route network? How important are interchanges?
- Should night services be integrated with daytime fares and ticketing? Will additional journeys generate additional revenue?
Association for European Transport