Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2016:2: 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 willingness to pay (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 comprised four attributes: price, travel time, sitting or standing during the trip, and crowding level. Crowding level was illustrated by pictures showing different numbers of standing travelers per square meter. The estimated results suggest a WTP for seating of SEK 41 to 61 (SEK 10 EUR 1) per hour depending on the crowding level. A reduction to no standing crowding from 4 and 8 standing passengers per square meter is valued SEK 6-7 and 20-40 respectively, depending on the seating or standing condition. If we instead interpret our estimated results as multipliers of the value of travel time savings, 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 2.9. All in all, our results seem plausible as they are relatively close to comparable estimated results from earlier studies that have valuated comfort and crowding reductions. Finally, sensitivity analysis also shows that the results seem to be both robust and in line with knowledge about the value of travel time savings.

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

JEL-codes: C25; R41

26 pages, February 22, 2016

Note: This is an updated version of CTS working paper 2015:12

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CTS2016-2.pdf PDF-file 

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