Researchers doubt that making 30-day tickets cheaper will get more motorists to choose public transport. They believe that reduced prices for single tickets would be far more effective.
Researchers doubt that making 30-day tickets cheaper will get more motorists to choose public transport. They believe that reduced prices for single tickets would be far more effective.

Public transport: Researchers are sceptical about cheaper 30-day tickets

From next autumn, Norway’s capital Oslo will lower the price for 30-day tickets. Politicians hope this will encourage more motorists choose public transport, but several researchers doubt the effectiveness.

In a new report from the Institute of Transport Economics, researchers believe, on the contrary, that cheaper 30-day tickets will increase car traffic, Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten writes.

The researchers think that politicians are focusing on the wrong solution and that a measure to make the price of single tickets cheaper would be more effective.

“If the politicians’ goal is to get more people to travel by public transport and fewer by car, it would probably have been more appropriate to reduce the price of single tickets,” says Fredrik Gregersen, one of the researchers behind the report.

The researchers argue that those who have a 30-day ticket travel a lot and are less price-sensitive. People who do not have a 30-day ticket may lean towards choosing the car when the price of a single ticket is discouragingly high, the researchers believe.

The researchers found that cheaper single tickets led to an 11 per cent decrease in car use. Gregersen believes that a price cut in the 30-day ticket would also result in fewer car trips, but on a much smaller scale.

The test project Reis – where the single ticket becomes cheaper the more you travel – turns out not to be effective in terms of reducing car traffic either, according to the report.

However, the public transport authority for Oslo and Akerhus Ruter believes it sees an effect from the Reis project and points out that traffic through the toll rings has decreased. Nevertheless, Akershus county has decided to drop the project, while Oslo has remains undecided.

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Translated by Alette Bjordal Gjellesvik

Read the Norwegian version of this article on forskning.no

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