An April 2012 article from the Journal of Public Transportation entitled "Bus or Rail: An Approach to Explain the Psychological Rail Factor" has been added to the Research Center best practices database. The article by Milena Scherer of ETH Zurich and Katrin Dziekan of the Berlin Institute of Technology explores whether there is an inherent preference for fixed rail transit among transit riders and why. The research found a preference for using rail, assuming equal service conditions, of 63 percent for regional train and 75 percent for trams compared to bus services. The rail factor is highly loaded with emotional and social attributions, the researchers note, and account for 20–50 percent of the share in the different schemata for bus, rail, and tram.
It is recognized that hard factors such as travel time, cost, availability of public transport services, and car ownership have a major impact when people consider the choice between using an automobile or public transport. Nevertheless, there is evidence from the literature that rail-based public transport often is considered superior to bus systems, even in cases where quantitative hard factors are equal. This attraction of passengers is known as a psychological rail factor, and it is used to express a higher attraction in terms of higher ridership of rail-based public transport in contrast to bus services (Axhausen et al. 2001; Megel 2001b; Ben-Akiva and Morikawa 2002; Vuchic 2005; Scherer 2010a). The existence of this rail factor is widely accepted among experts, but little evidence exists about the reasons for this phenomena.
The idea of a rail factor is consistent with statements that the image of a transport system has an impact on demand. Furthermore, research…
Tracks News - In this section you'll find news from cities around the country as well as interviews and general reporting on issues. It might be from a newspaper or a blog, but it counts as news.
National: House GOP Scraps 90 Day Highway Bill Ext
House Republicans leaders scrapped plans to vote on a 90-day Highway Bill extension Monday evening after it was clear the measure lacked enough support to pass...
National: When a Parking Lot is Much More
New York Times (via
Blogosphere - In this section you'll find commentary, opinion and editorials from blogs and newspapers around the country. The opinions expressed in these blogs do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Reconnecting America.
Blogosphere: Healthy Life with Half Hour Walk
Arthritis? Diabetes? Depression? Anxiety? Whatever might ail you, the best prescription may just be a half-hour walk. That's according to research by Dr. Mike Evans, an expert on preventive health care...
Blogosphere: Reinventing Cities with Ziplines
The Atlantic Cities
Hill towns have always captivated me. I write about…
To what extent do costs of investment, exploitation, and maintenance of water networks vary in relation to density and dispersion? What are the redistributive effects of these cost structures and by what categories of consumer are they borne?... Read On
This article investigates the evolution of sustainability positioning in residential property marketing to shed light on the specific role and responsibility of housebuilders and housing investors in urban development. To this end, an analysis is made of housing advertisements published in Basel, Switzerland, over a period of more than 100 years.... Read On