Assessment of Intercity Public Transportation Demand and Elasticity in The West Bank

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Khaled Al-Sahili - Supervisor
Dr. Khaled Zeidan - External Examiner
Dr. Sameer Abu-Eisheh - Member
Dr. Osama Abaza - Member
Dr. Khaled Al-Sahili
Abdel Majid Mohammed Hamuda Sadeq
The ability to predict and evaluate the intercity public transportation demand has become increasingly important in recent years. In the Palestine Territories, as the country is developing, it needs such a project to determine the relations between travel demand and factors affecting it. This study concerned with transportation planning in Palestine. It was undertaken to find the relationship between the public transportation demand and both operating and socioeconomic variables that influence demand. Therefore, the results obtained can be used to assess the intercity public transportation as well as for a basis to predict its future ridership demand. There are two main objectives of this study. The first is to develop the intercity bus ridership demand model. Socioeconomic and operating data in the Northem and Central Governorates were used in developing the model. in total six govemorates were studied including Nablus, Ramallah, Jenin, Tulkarm, Qalqilia, and Salfit. A madiematical equation for intercity bus ridership demand was developed using five independent variables. These independent variables were; origin city population, destination city population, bus fare, and the percent of employees and students in both origin and destination cities. The correlation coefficient of the suggested aggregation model, R2, was 0,84. The second objective was to collect information about the public transportation ridership behavior using two different questionnaires for bus riders and shared taxi riders. The sampling size was 410 for the intercity bus riders, while the sampling size for the shared taxi riders was 158, which accomplished for five percent of the population of riders. Both questionnaires contain questions about personal characteristics of the riders, about the trip itself; and about changing mode preference for a change in bus fare or waiting time. These questionnaires were analyzed and the ridership demand elasticity toward the change in bus fare was estimated. As a result of bus ridership questionnaire, the elasticity of the bus ridership toward the bus fare change was estimated to be -1.83. This means that for every l percent increase in bus fare, there is an expected decrease in bus ridership by l.83 percent. The shared taxi questionnaire showed that the elasticity of riders towards the bus fare change was estimated to be 1.34. Cross—tabulations were conducted to examine the relationship between ridcrs characteristics and mode change based on changing bus fare, bus waiting time, or express bus service. The examined riders' characteristics were riders` job, monthly income, trip purpose, and the number of weekly trips. It was found that employees and students were the most sensitive to mode change based on fare change, reducing the waiting time, and availability of express bus services. They almost make daily trips and they try to save money and time. It was concluded that the study results could be used in evaluating the existing public transportation, and forecast future demand as a function of the suggested variables. It is recommended for future research to extend such efforts for the rest of the West Bank governorates and Gaza Strip.
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