Valuing Transit Service Quality Improvements: Considering Comfort and Convenience In Transport Project Evaluation


The report by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute  investigates the value travelers place on qualitative factors such as comfort and convenience, and practical ways to incorporate these factors into travel time values for planning and project evaluation.

Conventional evaluation practices generally assign the same time value regardless of travel conditions, and so undervalue comfort and convenience impacts. Yet, a quality improvement that reduces travel time unit costs by 20% provides benefits equivalent to an operational improvement that increases travel speeds by 20%.

This report recommends specific travel time value adjustments to account for factors such as travel and waiting comfort, travel reliability, and real time transit vehicle arrival information. It describes how service quality improvements can increase transit ridership and reduce automobile travel.


The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transport problems. The VTPI website ( ) has many resources addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues.


Todd Alexander Litman
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC,



Posted May 2007