The Value of Crowding for Public Transport in the Paris Region



The Value of Crowding for Public Transport in the Paris Region

Authors

Eric Kroes, Significance and VU University Amsterdam, Marco Kouwenhoven, Significance, Laurence Debrincat, Syndicat Transport Ile-de-France

Description

This paper reports research carried out for the Transport Authority in the Paris Ile-de-France region (STIF) to quantify the value of crowding and comfort in Public Transport.

The study addresses all public transport modes available in Ile-de-France, and has gone through the steps of a classical valuation project: (1) literature review, (2) qualitative research, (3) large-scale stated preference (SP) survey and analysis, and (4) validation against RP data and results found elsewhere.

The paper briefly describes the SP experiments carried out among 3,000 passengers, their results and the extensive analyses that have been carried out to determine robust values of crowding. The resulting values for crowding and comfort are compared with results obtained elsewhere, in France and in the UK. The paper also illustrates how the results can be been applied in a practical Cost Benefit Analysis of a public transport project.

Abstract

In 2010 the Transport Authority in the Paris Ile-de-France region (STIF) commissioned Significance to carry out a major study to quantify the value of crowding and comfort in Public Transport. The aim was to provide robust valuations of crowding and comfort that could be used to appraise the benefits of major public transport projects. Several of these have been proposed in Paris already to reduce the very high levels of crowding currently experienced on some lines during peak hours.

Research by Wardman and Whelan (2011) has shown very high values of crowding for railway lines in the UK. In Paris an experiment reported by Haywood and Koning (2011) suggested also a high value of crowding for a specific situation. But for Ile-de-France as a whole no accepted general values of crowding and comfort are known. The aim of the study reported in this paper was to provide such values.

The study addressed all public transport modes available in Ile-de-France, and has gone through the steps of a classical valuation project: (1) literature review, (2) qualitative research, (3) large-scale stated preference (SP) survey and analysis, and (4) validation against RP data and results found elsewhere.
The literature review demonstrated that only limited knowledge is available about consumers’ valuation of crowding, while the value of comfort is almost an entirely new subject. The qualitative research, using focus groups, has shown which factors play a role in the perceptions and expectations of crowding and comfort for the different types of public transport passengers. In the Stated Preference study 3,000 respondents participated in four different stated choice experiments. In these experiments they were asked to trade-off different levels of crowding against travel time, waiting time, the possibility to sit or the need to stand during the journey, and several other aspects of comfort.as experienced inside the vehicles.

The paper briefly describes the SP experiments, their results and the extensive analyses that have been carried out to determine robust values of crowding. The resulting values for crowding and comfort are compared with results obtained elsewhere, in France and in the UK. The paper ends by illustrating how the results can be been applied in a practical Cost Benefit Analysis of a public transport project.

Publisher

Association for European Transport