Modelling the impact of alternative fare structures on train overcrowding


The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) provides the backbone to rail regulation in Great Britain. As part of its responsibilities, the SRA monitors overcrowding on trains which it measures in terms of the proportion of passengers on trains in excess of the seat capacity for longer distance services, and with an allowance for standing passengers on shorter journeys of less than 20 minutes. Overcrowding on Britain’s railways fell during the early 1990s but has been on the increase since 1996 with particularly acute problems in the morning peak for services travelling to London. In a study conducted on behalf of the SRA we developed the PRAISE rail operations model to include penalties for overcrowding based upon journey purpose, journey time and degree of overcrowding. Using demand, fares and timetable information for an actual case study route, we examine how fares and ticketing restrictions can be set to manage demand throughout the day without significantly reducing the overall demand for rail travel

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