Assessing Equity in Transit Pricing: An Analysis of Triangle Transit
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Executive Summary Triangle Transit seeks to answer two related questions: • Are lower-income riders more likely than other riders to use a less efficient payment method that contributes to overpayment? • What policies can Triangle Transit adopt to address potential inequities between payments by lower- and higher-income riders? Findings 1. Triangle Transit’s poorer riders are more likely to pay with a pass than with cash. Regression analysis that controls for other factors affecting payment type confirms this finding. 2. Overpayment is a persistent problem among Triangle Transit users, but particularly among cash users. 3. Though access to alternative transportation (cars) is important to employment prospects, it is not a statistically significant predictor of overpayment. However, employment status is closely linked to the likelihood a user pays with a pass or cash. 4. Descriptive statistics suggest that income, payment type, and transfers are predictors of overpayment. Lower income, cash use, and higher transfer rates are positive predictors of overpayment. Regression analysis also confirms that income and transfer are large and statistically significant predictors of overpayment. Recommendations 1. Triangle Transit should increase visibility of 30-day passes at highly-travelled stops. 2. Triangle Transit should move to an electronic “Smart Card” system. As part of this transition, Triangle Transit should reduce transfer fees for customers paying with a “Smart Card.” 3. Triangle Transit should ask a series of new questions in the next round of its rider survey, particularly related to payment decisions. 4. Reduce cash fares by 25 percent.
DepartmentThe Sanford School of Public Policy
Subjecttransit, pricing, equity, bus
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Rights for Collection: Sanford School Master of Public Policy (MPP) Program Master’s Projects