The importance of recurring public transport delays for accessibility and mode choice

Aaron Nichols, Jean Ryan, Carl-William Palmqvist, Journal of Transport Geography Volume 115, February 2024

This paper looks at the relationship between recurring public transport delays, accessibility to jobs, and travel behaviour in the region of Scania, Sweden. The difference between potential (scheduled) accessibility, observed (actual) accessibility, and behaviour is an important part of this research. This paper contributes to the growing body of literature that uses GTFS data (for both scheduled and actual services) to provide a deeper understanding of temporal variations in accessibility with public transport. Historic public transport data were used to develop a measure for typical delays in the region. The accessibility analysis shows that, on average, recurring public transport delays result in a 4–9% reduction in accessibility to jobs in the region. The loss in accessibility varied depending on the travel time budget that was considered and the location within the region. The accessibility analysis also shows that areas with higher concentrations of households with a lower economic standard experience a smaller loss in job accessibility caused by public transport delays. However, the concentration of these effects depends on the measure that is used. The measurement of typical delays was also analysed in relation to actual trips from the regional travel survey. The statistical analysis found that recurring public transport delays were associated with a lower likelihood of using public transport compared to other motorised modes.

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