Effects of a Higher Ticket Inspection Rate: Results of Differentiated Fare Evasion Rates in a Medium Sized Public Transport System
Stephan Keuchel, Westphalian University, Karolyn Laurenz, Westphalian University
As from January 2016 the ticket inspection level in the public transport system in Münster / Germany has been increased. Differentiated fare evasion rates were calculated before and after the increase by means of Poisson regression analysis.
The Stadtwerke Münster GmbH provides the inner-city bus services for about 300,000 inhabitants of the city of Münster (Westphalia/Germany). As the ticket inspection level was rather low in the past, from January 2016 more ticket inspectors were deployed in order to reach an average inspection level of 2.5 %.
The question arises whether a higher inspection level affects the fare evasion rate. After some time fare evaders could be expected to adapt their behaviour. Some of them might buy tickets more often, some might change the mode of transport and go by car or bike instead and some might look out for inspectors more carefully than before. Only the first group will lead to more revenue, the second group will lead to less passengers and the third group will have no effect either on revenue or on numbers of passengers.
Fare evasion rates were calculated with the help of Poisson regression analysis for the period before increasing the inspection level, June 2015 until December 2015, and after increasing the inspection level, January 2016 until June 2016. Further, differentiated evasion rates were calculated. Passengers without a valid ticket were split into several groups: those with no ticket at all, those who showed an unsuitable ticket, those who had forgotten their season ticket at home, and those who showed an electronic ticket which caused technical problems. Revenue losses only occur due to the first two groups of passengers.
The evasion rates of the group with no ticket at all were highest. Those of the groups two, three and four were much lower. Interestingly, comparing the rates before and after the increase of the inspection level the comparatively low rate of passengers who forgot their season tickets significantly decreased while the share of fare evaders with no or unsuitable tickets did not change significantly. Further analysis will be conducted in order to analyse whether there is a seasonal effect of fare evasion rates.
Association for European Transport