|M.Sc Student||Barth Tamar|
|Subject||Public Transport Mode Preference Among Residents of the|
|Department||Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering||Supervisors||Dr. Rachel Katoshevsky|
|Professor Yoram Shiftan|
|Full Thesis text|
In Israel government policy encouraging peripheral development goes hand in hand with developing transport infrastructure in these areas. Improving transport connectivity and accessibility between residents of the periphery and various business districts and metropolitan areas is essential to bridge the gaps that exist between the periphery and central Israel. In 2016, the Emek Rail Line opened to the public, with the intention, among other things, to shorten the travel time of the residents of Beit She’an Valley and Afula to Haifa and Tel Aviv metropolis. The project itself received much criticism due to the high costs and lengthy construction process begging the question, is a railroad the right way to develop the periphery-metropolis connectivity ?
Thus, the purpose of this study aims to examine the preferences and perceptions of peripheral residents when choosing means of travel after adding a railway. In addition, the existence and contribution of the supposed Rail Bonus, the hypothetical inherent preference to use the train rather than other forms of public transport, is examined with focus on the periphery. Reviewing whether passengers choosing the rail based on inherent factors will allow policy makers to isolate these factors and possibly allow other modes of public transport to emulate the positive aspects of the train.
Two questionnaires comparing the train to the bus and the private vehicle were distributed to residents of the periphery, before and after the opening of the rail line. The first, a stated preference survey, estimated mode choice based on various hypothetical scenario presented to passengers before the opening of the rail line. The analysis of the data revealed that mode alternative characteristics, such as frequency and travel time, had a large effect on mode choice. Other individual characteristics such as trip purpose and trip origin, were also found to significantly effect mode choice in the periphery.
The second survey, which contained both revealed and stated preference components, was distributed three years after the opening of the rail line allowing for the formation of new travel habits and mode choice. The data first examined passenger perceptions regarding the train, highlighting the reasons passengers may choose, or choose not to, use the train. Next, mixed RPSP model was estimated revealing that frequency, among service factors, greatly influences mode choice in the periphery. Individual characteristics, such as trip purpose, employment and car availability were also found to affect mode choice in these areas.
Choice probability was next examined in order to reveal the existence of the inherent rail bonus using characteristics of an average trip and representative individual. Comparing mode choice when public transportation service factors are identical revealed that the train was chosen at a higher probability compared to the bus, supporting the existence of the rail bonus. An additional model was created, estimating mode choice when public transportation service variables are set as identical. This model revealed a large positive constant for the rail mode, emphasizing the inherent nature of the rail bonus.