The objective of this study was to assess the extra bus trips made by old age pensioners and school students as a result of concessionary fare schemes. A survey was carried out in six towns, of which two had no concessionary scheme for the elderly, two had half fare, and two had free travel. The bus trips made by men over 65 and women over 60 were related to the fare levels, in analyses taking account also of variations in car ownership, population density and quality of service. A similar analysis was carried out for secondary school and college students under nineteen. It was found that the average fare elasticity for different groups of the elderly ranged from 0 to -0.7, with a preferred form giving -0.3 overall for the full fare areas. For school students the elasticity ranged from -0.2 to -1.5, with some anomalous results. A sensible, though only cautiously preferred, form gives a fares elasticity of -0.6 for the full fare areas. It suggested that these are long term equilibrium figures, and the generation factor for the first year of a scheme would then be substantially less than implied by the elasticities. The full-term generation effect would be about 30 per cent for free fares for the elderly or half fares for children, with the real possibility that in some situations discounts for children would be commercially viable.

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