The development of a comprehensive mechanism for measuring the value of public transport is important to gain a greater understanding of existing networks and plan optimal future networks. Mechanisms for measuring the value of public transport in New Zealand are currently limited and generally only consider financial aspects. Peak services on high-frequency corridors with high patronage generally operate with high efficiency, while other services such as evening or feeder services typically have low fare box recovery, and low perceived efficiency but are likely to contribute to higher passenger numbers elsewhere across the network and in doing so add value to the network as a whole.
This research explored the elements that influence the value of a public transport service and developed a framework that extends the NZ Transport Agency’s economic evaluation procedures to consider the contribution of isolated services to the wider network value. This will enable public transport planners to measure broader social and accessibility values of public transport, in addition to economic value, and compare the benefits and costs of changes taking into consideration the many trade-offs, as well as community and political sensitivities.
Keywords: accessibility, connectivity, impacts, network effect, public transport benefits, public transport network