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People’s Preferences for Improvements in Public Transportation Systems: An Experience from India


This paper investigates the potential demand for improved bus service quality in India using the stated preference method. This paper evaluates the effect of passengers’ socio-economic characteristics on their willingness-to-pay (WTP) for improved bus services by focusing on tradeoffs concerning the improvements to passengers’ in-vehicle travel time and comfort level. The paper further compares more preferred improvements among the bus passengers between in-vehicle travel time and comfort level. The paper uses the ordered logit model to analyze decisive factors affecting the opinion of passengers’ WTP for various improvement scenarios. Travel time, fare per trip, family monthly income, motor vehicle ownership, and age are found to be statistically significant to estimate the mean WTP. The results show that users consider the service quality of the public transportation system to be poor and are willing to pay for improved service qualities. As an exciting result, the collected data suggest that passengers are not willing to pay the same level towards improvements in travel time.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO), New Delhi, India, which made this study possible.

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Correspondence to Vinod Vasudevan.

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Lunani, K., Vasudevan, V. & Kumar, V. People’s Preferences for Improvements in Public Transportation Systems: An Experience from India. Transp. in Dev. Econ. 8, 24 (2022).

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  • Willingness-to-pay
  • Stated preference
  • Improvement in bus service quality
  • Ordered logit model