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Evaluation of Advanced Transit Alternatives using Consumer Welfare

UCD-ITS-RP-97-41

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Suggested Citation:
Rodier, Caroline J., Robert A. Johnston, David R. Shabazian (1998) Evaluation of Advanced Transit Alternatives using Consumer Welfare. Transportation Research Part C 6 (1-2), 141 - 156

Various combinations of advanced public transportation systems (APTS), including advanced transit information, demand responsive transit, and personal rapid transit, are evaluated by applying traditional travel and emissions criteria as well as consumer welfare and equity criteria. A state-of-the-practice regional travel demand model is used to simulate the travel effects of the APTS technologies in the Sacramento region for the year 2015. A method of obtaining consumer welfare is applied to the mode choice models in the travel model. It was found that APTS technologies, which were simulated in this study to act as feeder service for light rail and bus transit, did not significantly reduce congestion and emissions in the region. This was primarily because the Sacramento region lacks extensive penetration by light rail and bus service. The consumer welfare evaluation, however, showed that all the APTS technology scenarios yielded an economic benefit and were generally equitable even when capital, operation, and maintenance costs were included in the analysis. Further, the analysis showed that advanced transit information service alone produced the greatest increase in consumer welfare. The total yearly difference in benefits among the scenarios would be significant. Thus, it is concluded that the method of obtaining consumer welfare used in this study is a useful analytical tool for identifying optimal bundles of APTS technologies.