Evaluation of factors affecting mode choice of highspeed railway (HSR) users in Turkey

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2017
Dalkıç, Gülçin
To change the current road dominancy in the intercity passenger transportation, Turkey has been establishing High-Speed Rail (HSR) services as a competitive mode since 2009. Currently there are four HSR lines connecting seven cities and three HSR lines under construction. In the scope of this study, a passenger survey was conducted at four stations of the currently serving HSR lines to obtain data on i) intercity mode choices of HSR users for different trip purposes, ii) alternative modes preferred in HSR corridors iii) realized HSR trip and iv) user perspectives on modal service attributes (i.e. travel time, cost, safety, etc.). Firstly, factors affecting HSR usage was determined by using descriptive statistics and the binary choice model (for HSR versus next best alternative). Binary logit model results enabled to calculate the probability of HSR preference for the current lines and to make predictions for the preference of HSR users were carried out for the upcoming lines. The results revealed that HSR users mostly have non-business trip purposes (tourism, family/friend visits, etc.) and travelers are very sensitive to pricing and the travel time of HSR, especially to the travel time reduction caused by HSR. Current low ticket pricing policy is one of the reason encouraging high HSR usage by low income travelers (i.e. students). Secondly, value of time (VoT) calculated for HSR passengers both for general case and specific cases, would change not only by HSR line but also among travelers based on different income levels. However, it is important to keep in perspective that majority of the currently operating lines have been serving in short distances and they did not have air as a strong alternative. To increase ridership, the pricing policy must be developed carefully for each line based on competing alternative modes and the expected user profiles. Discounts made in HSR ticket prices for different traveler groups, such as seniors, students, etc. should be continued as these traveler groups were more likely the ones that are low income and sensitive to pricing. Similar evaluations and model development should be performed, when longer HSR lines (i.e. Ankara-İzmir, Bursa-İzmir or Konya-İzmir) which are under construction start to service in the near future.  

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Citation Formats
G. Dalkıç, “Evaluation of factors affecting mode choice of highspeed railway (HSR) users in Turkey,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.