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Abstract

This study estimates the effects of gas prices on bus ridership for different types of transit systems. Because the price of gas can have a delayed effect on the demand for transit, a dynamic polynomial distributed lag model is utilized which measures short- and longer-run effects. The model is first applied to aggregate data for cities of different sizes and then to three specific small urban and rural transit systems in the Upper Great Plains. The results show that bus ridership is fairly inelastic with respect to gasoline price. Most of the estimated elasticities are in the range of 0.08 to 0.22, with two estimates being as high as 0.5.

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