using the population census data for 1966 and 1971 an analysis was made of the way in which rail commuting to central london from a number of local authority areas has changed between these two years. the results of the multiple regression suggest that changes in rail journey time are more important to passengers than changes in frequency. an overall elasticity with respect to journey time of -0.6 (-0.9 for long journeys and -0.5 for short journeys) was obtained, whereas that with respect to frequency was not significantly different from zero. it was not possible to estimate the way rail passengers respond to fare changes owing to insufficient variation in fare levels over the local authority areas during the period. the inclusion of socio-economic variables such as car-ownership, the size of the local labour force and the number of owner-occupied houses in each local authority area improved the fit of the equation but did not tend to affect the absolute or relative size of the rail service elasticities.(a)

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