Defining regional public transport

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch


When exploring preferences of existing and potential public transport passengers, it is
relevant to acknowledge differences between different geographic scales: local, regional
and interregional. However, the boundaries between these categories remain unclear.
Some previous attempts have been made to define regional travel – and hence local and
interregional travel – but the resulting definitions are somewhat vague and use diverse
sets of metrics. In order to sort the terms, this paper aims to explore the perception of
the concept regional travel through a survey among public transport professionals. In
total, 290 completed questionnaires were collected. All continents are represented in the
survey, but with a strong concentration of responses in North America and Europe. The
results emphasise the importance of maintaining a distinction between functionality and
technology, meaning that factors such as vehicle type or speed should not be included in
the definition. Instead, the survey indicates a clear preference for either an
administrative or a functional definition, depending on the purpose. The functional
definition is argued to best fit the purpose of exploring passengers’ preferences, and
hence the following working definition of regional public transport can be adopted:
Regional public transport targets passengers travelling between separate urban areas
or to rural areas, and a majority of the trips are made on a regular basis (daily to
weekly in general).
Translated title of the contributionDefinition av regional kollektivtrafik
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLund
PublisherK2 - Nationellt kunskapscentrum för kollektivtrafik
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 28

Publication series

NameK2 working papers


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