Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #209

Rarely Enjoyed? – A Count Data Analysis of Ridership

by Manuel Frondel and Colin Vance

RWI, RUB, 10/2010, 30 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-240-8



Focusing on adult members of German households, this paper investigates the determinants of public transit ridership with the aim of quantifying the effects of fuel prices, fares, person-level attributes, and characteristics of the transit system on transport counts over a five-day week. The reliance on individual data raises several conceptual and empirical issues, the most fundamental of which is the large proportion of zero values in transit counts. To accommodate this feature of the data, we employ modeling procedures referred to as zero-inflated models (ZIMs), which order observations into two latent regimes defined by whether the individual never uses public transport. Our estimates reveal fuel prices to have a positive and substantial influence on transit ridership, though there is no evidence for a statistically significant impact of the fare.

JEL-Classification: D13, Q41

Keywords: Transit Ridership, Pricing Policy, Zero-Inflated Models, Household Data

Published as:

Frondel, M. and C. Vance (2011), Rarely Enjoyed? A Count Data Analysis of Ridership in Germany's Public Transport. Transport Policy 18 (2): 425-433.