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Differentiation in public transport fares: a survey

Project Number: 418

Project Leader: Jonas Eliasson

Start Date: 2015-05-01

End Date: 2015-12-31

Research Question Differentiation of public transport fares is a common recommendation from transport economics in order to decrease crowding, and to enable a more efficient resource use in general by making prices better reflect marginal social costs generally. However, public transport fares are broadly speaking not very differentiated: around the world, it is common that especially frequent users can use unlimited-travel cards valid for some time period (such as monthly cards), where the price does not depend on trip length, time of day or where the trip is made. This means that experience of price differentiation in public transport is limited, which creates a vicious circle: since experience is limited, effects of such strategies are largely uncertain, which makes decision-makers unwilling to even test differentiation strategies. The purpose of this project is to survey practical experience of differentiated public transport fares, in particular differentiation with respect t

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