|M.Sc Student||Jabareen Mostafa|
|Subject||The Impact of Fare in Attracting Rural Commuters to|
|Department||Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering||Supervisors||Professor Yoram Shiftan|
|Dr. Wafa Elias|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of travel fare on persuading commuters from the periphery to use the train - i.e., to examine the extent of train use as a function of fare, taking into consideration demographic and socioeconomic attributes, on the decision to choose the Carmiel train line as the preferred mode of transportation, rather than private cars.
This is the first study in Israel that attempts to examine how commuters from peripheral towns react to the changes in public transportation travel fares over time. The findings of this study can help decision makers, and the Ministry of Transport in particular, implement policies that encourage the use of trains in the periphery in general, and the Carmiel train line in particular.
The research method is based on data collection via questionnaires distributed at the Carmiel Central Bus Station and on the train to and from Carmiel.
The questionnaire was distributed in three phases: before the operation of the train line; immediately after its inauguration, when travel was free; and after three months, when travel fare was partially subsidized, at a 50% discount of the usual fare. The questionnaires were used to collect data concerning the demographic and socioeconomic status of commuters, purpose of travel, frequency of use of the Carmiel train line, attitudes and reasons for preferring it over other modes of transportation.
Findings reveal that the Carmiel train line had changed commuting behavior by encouraging train use over private cars. Approximately half of the participants in the second phase admitted to using private vehicles prior to the line’s inauguration. The new line had also increased the number of trips to new destinations. Approximately half of the participants in the second phase (free travel) and over a third in the third phase (discounted fare) said that they had not taken the trip prior to the inauguration of the new line.
The study results show that in all three phases, participants preferred train travel due to its convenience and the time saved by using it. Convenience was a highly important factor for participants in all three surveys. In addition, fare was not viewed as one of the most critical factors for preferring the train, while the frequency of train travel did affect their continued use of it at full cost - the more one uses the train for a specific purpose, the less they are inclined to continue using it at full cost. No significant statistical relationships were found between modes of transportation preference and demographic or socioeconomic characteristics, barring gender, and age.