RT31 – Alexa Delbosc and Graham Currie – The paradigm shift in revenue protection research and practice
Researching Transit – Episode 31
Published: August 2021
Keywords: Public transport, fare evasion, revenue protection, psychology, motivations
This is the ninth episode in the Research Transit Handbook of Public Transport Research Series. Links to the book can be found at the end of the notes.
In this episode, Laura Aston speaks to Dr Alexa Delbosc and Professor Graham Currie. Today’s guests will be familiar to many in the audience. Dr Delbosc was interviewed on the show in episode 22, addressing the psychology of public transport. She is a lecturer with the Institute of Transport Studies in the Department of Civil Engineering at Monash University. Professor Currie, your regular host and editor of the Handbook of Public Transport Research, is Director of the Public Transport Research Group at Monash University. Today they discuss Chapter 7 of the Handbook: The Paradigm Shift in Revenue Protection Research and Practice. The chapter is unique in providing a case study in impactful industry partnership. It presents the findings of a major program of research, funded by Victoria’s Department of Transport, which generated major economic savings for the State.
Our guests set the scene by explaining the impetus for this research. Globally, agencies may lose up to 25% of revenue to fare evasion, costing in the hundred of millions of dollars. Yet prior to this project, which commenced in 2011/12, there was limited understanding of the motivations for fare evading. Dr Delbosc explains how the project contributed to shifting the focus of revenue protection research from conventional systems control perspectives and customer profiling, to the more nuanced approach of customer motivations. Following the success of their research, the customer motivations perspective on fare evasion has taken off around the world.
By combining numerous psychological frameworks that help understand human motivations, the project was able to identify four different rationales for fare evading, ranging from Accidental Evaders to Career Evaders (Figure 1). Importantly, they were able to quantify the revenue loss associated with different motivations. This was an important discovery that led to the development of effective responses, including a marketing campaign which targeted often affluent ‘freeloaders’. This campaign, along with other targeted interventions, saw fare evasion in Victoria reduce from 12% to 5% in 2015, saving the government $45 million (Figure 2).
Find out more about this research in Chapter 7 of the Handbook of Public Transport Research, available for purchase from the publisher’s website: https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/handbook-of-public-transport-research-9781788978651.html
Find out more about today’s guests
- Graham Currie: Prof Graham Currie: https://www.monash.edu/engineering/grahamcurrie
- Dr Alexa Delbosc: https://www.monash.edu/engineering/alexadelbosc
For an overview of the research program discussed during today’s show, visit the Psychology of Fare Evasion Research Website:
Read more about the fare evasion research and it’s findings in published research papers:
- Currie, G. and A. Delbosc (2017). “An Empirical Model for the Psychology of Deliberate and Unintentional Fare Evasion.” Transport Policy 54: 21-29.
- Delbosc A and Currie G (2019). “‘Why do people fare evade? A global shift in fare evasion research‘ ” TRANSPORT REVIEWS Volume 39 – 3 pp376-391.
- Delbosc, A. and G. Currie (2016a). “Cluster analysis of fare evasion behaviours in Melbourne, Australia.” Transport Policy 50: 29-36.
- Delbosc, A. and G. Currie (2016b). “Four Types of Fare Evasion: A Qualitative Study from Melbourne, Australia.” Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 43: 254-264.
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Music from this episode is from https://www.purple-planet.com
- Date August 22, 2021
- Tags Podcast