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The Grey Escape: investigating older people's use of the free bus pass
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Transport and Location Analysis. KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Transport Studies, CTS.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7124-7164
2012 (English)In: Transportation planning and technology (Print), ISSN 0308-1060, E-ISSN 1029-0354, Vol. 35, no 1, 3-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Since 2008 most older people in England have benefited from unlimited area-wide free travel by bus after the morning peak period. The official policy rhetoric supporting implementation of the measure drew significantly on the need to reduce social exclusion amongst older people. However, despite a substantial increase in the number of concessionary journeys in England and the associated cost liabilities for local authorities and possibly also operators, there is currently only limited understanding of the wide ranging effects on bus use of providing a free pass, and in particular to whom benefits from the policy accrue. In part, this circumstance results from a methodological focus by evaluation studies hitherto that has emphasised aggregate-level data, often at the expense of the very rich contextual information about how the individual benefits from using a pass. This article presents insights into the perceptions, motivations and decisions relating to use of free bus passes, highlighting the existence of both tangible and intangible benefits which arise. It offers a fresh insight into previously undefined uses and benefits derived from possessing and using a concessionary bus pass. This article concludes by noting possible policy implications of the research in the context of the UK's ageing population and for other international contexts where the transport intervention of free bus travel is being considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 35, no 1, 3-15 p.
Keyword [en]
bus travel, older people, subsidy, public transport
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-71684DOI: 10.1080/03081060.2012.635413ISI: 000304444400002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84858602938OAI: diva2:486891
43rd Annual Conference of the Universities-Transport-Studies-Group (UTSG),Open Univ, Milton Keynes, ENGLAND, Jan 2011
TrenOp, Transport Research Environment with Novel Perspectives
QC 20120618Available from: 2012-01-31 Created: 2012-01-31 Last updated: 2012-06-18Bibliographically approved

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Susilo, Yusak
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