The propensity to travel by rail policy implications for the development of the rail network
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TSU seminar: Euro pean Rail: the New Era? St Anne’s College, Oxford, 24 September 2007. The propensity to travel by rail – policy implications for the development of the rail network. With: Martijn Brons and Piet Rietveld. Moshe Givoni Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Research objective.

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TSU seminar: European Rail: the New Era?

St Anne’s College, Oxford,24 September 2007

The propensity to travel by rail – policy implications for the development of the rail network

With:

Martijn Brons and Piet Rietveld

Moshe Givoni

Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam


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Research objective

  • Understanding how rail use is influenced by:

  • The level of rail service provided

  • The accessibility of the rail station

  • Post-code characteristics

OR

Should a rail network serve the “four corners” of a country?


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Background (1)

  • Dutch rail network:

  • 363 stations

  • 2811 km

  • 68 m/km2

  • 92% of population live less than 10km from a train station


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Background (2)

Trips per person per year and rail share in the 489 Dutch municipalities (2002/2003):

Rail share in (land) passenger-km: 8.2% (UK: 5.3%, EU25: 6.5%).


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Rotterdam: 29.2

Amsterdam: 32.9 (9.28%)

Diemen: 91.3 (15.2%)

Number of rail trips per person per year

Model and Data (1)

Number of rail trips per person per year

= f(rail service, access to station, PC characteristics)


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  • The level of rail service provided

  • “Rail Service Quality Index” (RSQI - Debrezion, 2006)

  • Average of 3 most used stations by post code residents

  • Utrecht CS: 2.00 (1), Amsterdam CS: 1.38 (8)

Model and Data (2)

Descriptive statistics:


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Model and Data (3)

  • The accessibility of the rail station

  • Average distance (km), PC-centroid to rail station: 8.68km

  • Public transport travel time (minutes), PC-centroid to rail station: 25.4min

  • Public transport service frequency (services per hour): 1.98

  • Access facilities: Park&Ride, Guarded bike-parking

  • Post-code characteristics

  • Population density (population / hectare)

  • % population over 65

  • Average income per “inhabitant” (Euro/year): 11,067

  • Number of cars per household: 0.97






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Conclusions (1)

  • Policy makers and rail operators have control on the level of rail service provided and the access to it (not on the characteristics of the population served)

  • The two are substitutes (when a rail service is provided)

  • Improving access to stations probably less costly than improving the rail service (harder to achieve from an organizational perspective)

  • Reducing distance to station = opening new stations => costly, travel time penalties to travelers

  • Reducing travel time to station, more important => better public transport services to stations

Rail operators should focus attention also outside the train part of a rail journey


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Conclusions (2)

Investments in rail infrastructure must be very selective

  • Investments should be directed to where the level of service is already relatively high (where demand is high)

  • Where current rail service is relatively low (the network periphery) – investments should be directed to improve access to the station

  • Regional accessibility = accessibility to the rail network (does not have to be by rail)

A rail network need not serve the four corners of a country (continent) under all circumstances. Focus should be on the transport network at large


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Discussion

  • The Reshaping of British Railway (1963) –

  • The Beeching Report

  • Investment in the main inter-city routes

  • Substitution of rural rail services by bus services (to the main railway stations?)

  • Integrated Transport Policy –

  • Transport White Paper (1998)

  • In (UK, EU) transport policy: INTEGRATION gave its place to SUSTAINABILITY

  • Integration between modes => prerequisite to reduce car use and increase rail use


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Thank you!

[email protected]

(From 1 November: TSU, Oxford)

This research is carried out as part of a Marie Curie Fellowship and the TRANSUMO project “reliability of transport chains”

We thank the Dutch Railways (NS) for the data


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