Transit Price Elasticities and Cross-Elasticities

  • Litman T
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Abstract

This article summarizes price elasticities and cross-elasticities for use in public transit planning. It describes elasticities and how they are used, and examines previous re- search on transit elasticities. Commonly used transit elasticity values are largely based on studies of short- and medium-run impacts performed decades ago when real incomes where lower and a larger portion of the population was transit depen- dent. As a result, they tend to be lower than appropriate to model long-run impacts. Analysis based on these elasticity values tends to understate the potential of transit fare reductions and service improvements to reduce problems, such as traffic con- gestion and vehicle pollution, and understates the long-term negative impacts that fare increases and service cuts will have on transit ridership, transit revenue, traffic congestion, and pollution emissions.

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Authors

  • Todd Litman

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