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
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?
Background (1) • Dutch rail network: • 363 stations • 2811 km • 68 m/km2 • 92% of population live less than 10km from a train station
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%).
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)
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:
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
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
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
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
Thank you! firstname.lastname@example.org (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