Crowding valuation in urban tram and bus transportation based on smart card data

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Crowding in public transport can be of major influence on passengers’ travel experience and therefore affect route and mode choice. In this study, crowding valuation for urban tram and bus travelling is determined fully based on revealed preference data. Urban tram and bus crowding valuation is estimated in a European context based on a Dutch case study network. Based on the estimated discrete choice model, we conclude that crowding plays a significant role in passengers’ route choice in public transport. The average crowding multiplier of in-vehicle time equals 1.16 when all seats are occupied. For frequent travellers, this value is equal to 1.31. Our study results suggest that infrequent travellers do not incorporate expected crowding in their route choice. The insights gained from our study can support the decision-making process of policy-makers, by quantifying the benefits of measures aiming to reduce crowding levels for example in a cost–benefit analysis framework.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalTransportmetrica A: Transport Science
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jan 2018


  • crowding
  • Public transport
  • revealed preference
  • route choice
  • smart card data

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