The marginal social cost of headway for a scheduled service

Mogens Fosgerau

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


    This brief paper derives the marginal social cost of headway for a scheduled service, i.e. the cost for users of marginal increases to the time interval between departures. In brief we may call it the value of headway in analogy with the value of travel time and the value of reliability. Users have waiting time costs as well as schedule delay costs measured relative to their desired time of arrival at the destination. They may either arrive at the station to choose just the next departure or they may plan for a specific departure in which case they incur also a planning cost. Then planning for a specific departure is costly but becomes more attractive at longer headways. Simple expressions for the user cost result. In particular, the marginal cost of headway is large at short headways and smaller at long headways. The difference in marginal costs is the value of time multiplied by half the headway.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTransportation Research. Part B: Methodological
    Issue number8-9
    Pages (from-to)813-820
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Value of travel time
    • Headway
    • Frequency
    • Public transport


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