New research into how to implement more flexible fares for rail passengers & train operators
Dr Katharina Burger from the University of Bristol, with Raffaello Rossi from the University of Bristol and Elisa Becker from the University of Exeter, are collaborating with transport solutions company Esoterix, to interrogate rail travel data and make pricing recommendations to benefit both the train operators and rail travellers.
A recent Rail Delivery Group review called for more flexible, individualised, ‘fairer’ fare models, highlighting that many current fare structures (season tickets or one-off fares), do not offer good value, particularly for those working part-time, the majority of whom are women.
Dr Katharina Burger from the University of Bristol says ‘This collaboration with Esoterix will allow us to offer insight into which combinations of travel patterns and fare rebates have the greatest potential to shift peak demand. We will make recommendations as to how the operator can ease capacity constraints and at the same time offer best price value for the different demographics of travellers.’
This project, called ELICIT, includes insight into how socio-demographics affects travel demand behaviour and response to fare rebates and rewards, and how the effect of a rebate scheme can be predicted with confidence, using passenger travel demand history and socio-demographic information.The Economic and Social Research Council Accelerating Business Collaboration Fund are funding the project.
Liz Davidson says ‘At Esoterix we spearhead new transport demand and simulation techniques, road-test new service models, and market-test new business models. The railway industry is our key focus at the moment and this project is particularly relevant now with changes in travel patterns due to Covid-19. The outcomes from this project will help us refine the scope of future real-world trials.’
Esoterix have recently been awarded £380k to scale and automate machine learning to deliver enable more dynamic fares.