, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 7–23 | Cite as

Modal image: candidate drivers of preference differences for BRT and LRT

  • David A. HensherEmail author
  • Corinne Mulley


The physical image of transport systems, as perceived by users and non users, has long been put forward as a powerful influence on the formation of preferences. One setting for this is in the choice between bus rapid transit (BRT) and light rail transit (LRT) where there appears to be a strong preference in favour of LRT in developed countries and the reverse in developing countries. Using data collected in six capital cities in Australia in 2013, in which individuals rated two BRT and two LRT designs presented as physical images, we develop a full rank mixed logit model to identify candidate sources of influence on image preferences. These provide signals to assist in preparing the ground for a segmented profile for policy makers and politicians to understand how to underpin building a rational debate for modal options in our cities.


Bus rapid transit Light rail transit Modal images Random parameters Australian cities 



Research funded under the Australian Research Council Discovery Program grant DP0770618 and the Volvo Research and Education Foundation Bus Rapid Transit Centre of Excellence. We acknowledge the Foundation for funding support and the contribution of John Rose and Jun Zhang of ITLS to the overall study. The comments of two referees and Tom van Vuren have materially improved this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, The University of Sydney Business SchoolUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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