Revisiting public transport service delivery

e xploring rail commuters’ attitudes towards fare collection and verification systems


  • I.B. Alhassan Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), University of Leeds
  • B. Matthews Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), University of Leeds
  • J.P. Toner Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), University of Leeds
  • Y.O. Susilo Integrated Transport Research Lab, KTH Royal Institute of Technology



Making Public Transport services more attractive and effective requires attractive and effective ticketing. This requires a clear understanding of user attitudes, needs and expectations. This study explored commuters’ attitudes to fare collection and verification and the underlying factors, their acceptance of the policy of “No-ticket-purchase on-board” and their preferences for fare verification options. Commuters rated their agreement with 17 ticketing related statements in a cross-sectional questionnaire survey conducted along the corridor with the largest proportion of cross-county commuting in Sweden, Stockholm – Uppsala. Four sets of hypotheses were then tested. The average scores were normally distributed and hence analysed using a two-way ANOVA. A One-way chi-square test was conducted to determine the commuters’ preference for fare verification approach. A t-test was used to analyse the perceived quality of ticketing and the commuters’ reaction to the policy of “No-ticket-purchase on-board PT vehicle”. Whilst the results showed that the commuters were relatively uniform in their attitudes, income, commuting route, ticket type and ticket purchase channel affected their attitudes. They were neutral to the policy of “No-ticket-purchase on-board”. Their attitude to fare collection was more positive than that of fare verification and they showed a preference for automatic fare verification. The study highlights a number of policy implications and recommends further research on the feasibility of passive fare verification and on commuters’ preferred options for fare verification.