|Chapter title||The Roles of ‘Conventional’ and Demand-Responsive Bus Services|
|Editors||Mulley, C. and Nelson, J.D.|
Purpose - The roles of ‘conventional’ (fixed-route and fixed-timetable) bus services is examined and compared to demand-responsive services, taking rural areas in England as the basis for comparison. It adopts a ‘rural’ definition of settlements under a population of 10,000.
Design/methodology/approach - Evidence from the National Travel Survey, technical press reports and academic work is brought together to examine the overall picture.
Findings - Inter-urban services between towns can provide a cost-effective way of serving rural areas where smaller settlements are suitably located. The cost structures of both fixed-route and demand-responsive services indicate that staff time and cost associated with vehicle provision are the main elements. Demand-responsive services may enable larger areas to be covered, to meet planning objectives of ensuring a minimum of level of service, but experience often shows high unit cost and public expenditure per passenger trip. Economic evaluation indicates user benefits per passenger trip of similar magnitude to existing average public expenditure per trip on fixed-route services. Considerable scope exists for improvements to conventional services through better marketing and service reliability.
Practical implications - The main issue in England is the level of funding for rural services in general, and the importance attached to serving those without access to cars in such areas.
Social implications - The boundary between fixed-route and demand-responsive operation may lie at relatively low population densities.
Originality/value - The chapter uses statistical data, academic research and operator experience of enhanced conventional bus services to provide a synthesis of outcomes in rural areas.
|Book title||Paratransit: Shaping the Flexible Transport Future|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1108/S2044-994120160000008015|