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Role of the Travel Factor Convenience in Rail Travel and a Framework for its Assessment

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This paper reviews the travel factor convenience with particular regard to rail travel. Past research has shown that convenience is a concept readily associated with the private car and its perceived ability to provide a door‐to‐door journey. Private vehicles such as cars are often key competitors to public transport. However, convenience with regard to public transport has proved to be somewhat of an ambiguous concept, often showing a high degree of overlap with the other main recognized travel factors. This paper shows that it is possible to consider convenience in rail travel as an embodiment of four themes: access/egress, station facilities/environment, frequency of service/scheduling and interchange between train services. A list of physically measurable elements can be produced relating to these four themes in order to assess the convenience of any particular station. A categorization process is proposed based upon the initial findings of a questionnaire designed to obtain a user perspective upon convenience. It is concluded that no definitive measure of convenience can be produced for rail travel, although a proxy measure, based upon categorization, containing some or all of the defined elements should be possible.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Transportation Research Group, University of Southampton, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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