This paper tests the elasticities to time, frequency and interchange implied by an approach which combines these three variables into a single term and compares this approach with models which estimate separate elasticities. The forecasts obtained from different model forms can be appreciably different.
Topic: 1.5 Heavy Rail
Economic Efficiency of Railways and Implications for Public Policy: A Comparative Study of the OECD Countries’ Railways
The productive efficiency of the railway systems in 19 OECD countries is analysed. The empirical results show that: (i) railway systems with high dependence on public subsidies are significantly less efficient than similar railways with less dependence on subsidies; (ii) railways with a high degree of managerial autonomy from regulatory authorities tend to achieve higher efficiency.
It is concluded that aggregate approaches to forecasting demand may be appropriate for cheap investments, such as new stations, or an initial assessment of a wide range of options. For detailed consideration of expensive investments, such as new rail services, disaggregate methods based on RP and or SP data should be considered.
Separate models for business and non-business rail trips of over 50 miles show wide variations between different groups of the population. The author examines the effects of such factors as socio-economic group, age, household type, car ownership and access to a main line station. Some results are unexpected.
The authors examine twenty London-based rail flows over the period 1973 to 1984. On the whole, the influence of the external environment was neutral; fares, quality of service and competition were more important. The results show a remarkable degree of consistency and precision.
This article combines consideration of the possible objectives of a public enterprise with a discussion on price discrimination. British Rail is well placed for discriminatory pricing, but there are limits to what is practicable and desirable.
The author’s model is successful in predicting short-term demand. Demand is inelastic, but is influenced by fares, consumer expenditure and seasonality.
The network studies in the recent Serpell Report provide conclusive evidence that substantial savings would result from closure of lightly used railway lines. Political opposition to closures has been helped by deficiencies in railway costing and by excessive importance attached to contributory revenue.
Demand is found to be strongly influenced by rail fares and journey time, by the level of competition from coach and car, by cyclical activity, and by seasonal factors.