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Subjective valuation of the transit transfer experience: the case of Santiago de Chile


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The still controversial Transantiago public transport system, in Santiago de Chile, has a topological structure that often requires its users to make one or more transfers to reach their destinations. This was rarely necessary in the previous non-integrated system and users reacted with unexpected displeasure when it started even though fare integration in the new system means that transferring involved no extra costs. This study investigates users’ subjective valuations of the transfer experience and its associated elements (walking and waiting times), analysing how these vary for different types of transfer combinations. In particular, we determine the relative preferences the following transfer combinations: metro–metro, metro–bus, bus–metro and bus–bus, with emphasis on the importance of various physical characteristics such as information availability, the existence of station escalators and the ability to board the first available bus or train. We also estimate the relative valuation of the different time component values (walking, waiting and in-vehicle) of trips including a transfer, and also derived the penalties users assign to trips that require transferring at intermodal stations during the morning peak hour. The trip time components most heavily penalised were the walking time involved in transferring and the final walking time to the user’s destination.

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