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Will bus travellers walk further for a more frequent service? A Stated preference investigation


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Network planning of bus services requires addressing the trade off between frequency and coverage. Planning for good coverage of bus services using the rule of thumb that people
will walk four hundred meters to access bus based public transport services means sharing the available budget between many services. For the same budget, the alternative approach of concentrating frequency on core corridors implies lower coverage and that some travellers would need to walk further to access bus based services. An understanding of to which extent people are willing to walk to a bus stop with higher frequency would provide empirical
information for bus network planning.

The research question addressed by this paper is whether travellers are willing to walk further to a more frequent bus service in the context of Australian cities. A Stated Choice Experiment approach is used to elicit the trade off between walking further to access more frequent bus services. In doing so the paper investigates the potential success of reorientating a coverage approach to network planning, prevalent in many Australian cities to
one predicated on concentrating frequency in corridors. The results show travellers in Australian capital cities are willing to walk around 206m to 327m further for a ten-minute
reduction in bus headways. These research outcomes provide valuable Australian evidence confirming travellers are prepared to walk further to a more frequent bus service.

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