In most areas of Great Britain elderly people's bus travel is subsidised through concessionary fare schemes. The amount of travel generated by these schemes is important in gauging the effectiveness of concessionary fare policies, and in determining reimbursements to be paid to operators for lost revenue. A recent 'before and after' study by TRL of the effects of a concessionary fare increase in one area suggested that much more travel may be generated by concessionary fare schemes than previous research had indicated. In order to resolve this apparent discrepancy, a new study was undertaken, combining three different approaches. The first is a comparison of trip rates in two matched pairs of areas, with similar geographical, demographical and public transport characteristics, but different concessionary fare schemes. The second is a cross-sectional study, using information from recent National Travel Surveys. The third is a longitudinal study, examining changes in patronage resulting from concessionary fare changes in several major urban areas. While each of these studies is limited by the availability of suitable data, their results are not entirely incompatible, and they provide a useful basis for review of concessionary fare arrangements by local authorities and operators. (A)

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