Simulated Relationships between Highway Capacity, Transit Ridership, and Service Frequency

Journal of Public Transportation Article in Volume 3, Issue 1 (2000) by Robert B. Noland, Centre for Transport Studies, Imperial College, London          


This article analyzes the relationships between highway capacity additions and transit patronage, both in the short and long run. A methodology using a model of schedule disutility is shown to provide a technique to account for transit service frequency. This technique, combined with a supply-side model of a highway corridor is used to evaluate the impact of transit headway changes and highway capacity, increases on total transit ridership, using a synthetic sample of commuters. Simulation results are used to evaluate the impact on travel times and utility of the two modes and the long-run degradation of transit service predicted by the Downs-Thomson paradox. While the results do not show congestion as necessarily being worse than before capacity expansion, they do show that transit service frequency could be reduced significantly over time.