Fare Policy, Ticketing etc

The key issues in this area of public transport can be summarised as follows;

  • Devising sensible Fares Policies which combine the appropriate mix of revenue generation, attracting patronage, social equity, ease of understanding and operational feasibility.
  • Schemes to reduce fares for particular groups; this includes Concessionary Fares schemes which offer free or reduced fares for older people, a particular issue in the UK.
  • Multi-operator and multi-modal ticketing schemes which provide “seamless travel” on public transport across an area, particularly encouraging custom from regular users. (Examples being London’s Oyster card and Hong Kong MTR‘s Octopus card)

Alan Howes has wide experience in this area, including the following;

In Dubai, Alan carried out extensive work on fare structures including setting up a zonal fare system (as Special Advisor to Dubai Municipality Public Transport Department)

Northamptonshire County-wide Concession Fares scheme; Alan was project manager for the update and extension of an earlier project to design and evaluate a county-wide scheme, as well as forecasting the effects of the new Free Travel scheme for senior citizens in England introduced in 2008. This involved consideration of take-up rates, conversion from tokens, actual and assumed demand elasticity, reimbursement to operators etc. (for Northamptonshire County Council)
(Similar schemes for free travel are available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.)

Tamworth Concession Fares Audit; Alan conducted a brief audit of concession fares claims by major bus operator. (for Tamworth Borough Council)

Portsmouth Public Transport Tasks; Alan reviewed value-for-money in respect of Concessionary Fares negotiations for Portsmouth City Council

Alan also analysed the results of a “January Sale” conducted by Stagecoach in Fife, using data from Electronic Ticket Machines. The study included examination of implied elasticities of demand for different types of service, and advice on future fares policy and promotions.

He has also carried out research and analysis on Multi-operator Public Transport ticketing schemes in the UK, concentrating principally on those run by operators rather than local authorities. (For MCL consultancy)