This report presents results from a pilot study of Manchester and Sheffield which have adopted contrasting transport policies in recent years. Sheffield's low fares policy (introduced in 1975) has resulted in much lower bus fares than those in Manchester. The report is based on 1971 and 1981 census data. Results show that there are a range of factors which influence mode choice including the spatial distribution of population and employment, the segregation of socio-economic groups, the patterns of residential tenure, the level of female employment (particularly in part-time jobs) and, above all, the level of car ownership. The two cities show marked contrasts in car ownership and modal share for the work journey. Car ownership and car use were similar for the two cities in 1966, but the growth in car ownership and car use has been faster in Manchester than in Sheffield over the period 1966 to 1981. In 1981, bus use was nearly twice as high in Sheffield as in Manchester even when the mode choice data was disaggregated by sex, socio-economic group and car ownership category. However, Sheffield had a higher level of bus use in 1966 and 1971 before the low fares policy was introduced. The main impact of Sheffield's low fares policy seems to have been to reduce the decline of public transport use for the work journey but mainly at the expense of car sharing and the use of minor modes (such as foot and two-wheelers). For a given level of car ownership, the proportions driving to work remain similar for the two cities. (A)

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