Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working papers in Transport Economics,
CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI)

No 2015:12: Valuing in-vehicle comfort and crowding reduction in public transport

Gunilla Björklund () and Jan-Erik Swärdh ()
Additional contact information
Gunilla Björklund: VTI, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Jan-Erik Swärdh: VTI, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The purpose of the present study is to estimate the WTP for comfort, i.e. to get a seat, and crowding reduction on board local public transport in Sweden, including the modes metro, tram, commuter train, and local bus. We use data from a stated preference-study conducted in the three largest urban areas of Sweden. Respondents were recruited both during a trip and from a web panel. The stated preference-questions consisted of four attributes: travel cost, travel time, seating or standing during the trip, and crowding level. Crowding level was illustrated by pictures showing different number of standing travelers per square meter. The estimated results suggest a WTP for seating of SEK 30 to 37 (SEK 10 approximately equal EUR 1) per hour depending on the crowding level. A reduction to no standing passengers from 4 and 8 standing passengers per square meter is valued SEK 12-13 and 27-32 respectively, depending on seating or standing condition. A reduction to no standing passengers from 1 standing passenger per square meter is not worth anything when the traveler is seating but SEK 8 when the traveler is standing. If we instead interpret our estimated results as value of travel time saving-multipliers, the worst travel condition in our study, i.e. standing in a crowding of 8 standing passengers per square meter, has a multiplier of about 2.1. All in all, our results seem plausible as they lies in the middle of comparable estimated results from earlier studies that have valuated comfort and crowding reductions. Finally, sensitivity analysis also show that the results seem to be both robust and in line with value of travel time savings-knowledge.

Keywords: Public transport; Comfort; Crowding; Willingness to pay; Value of travel time savings

JEL-codes: C25; R41

32 pages, September 2, 2015

Note: Later updated version published as CTS working paper 2016:2

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CTS2015-12.pdf PDF-file 

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