Determinants of Rail Passenger Transport Usage: A Case of Buffalo City Municipality

AuthorKholosa Ntlatywa
PositionStudent, University of Fort Hare, Umtata Area, South Africa
European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2019
Determinants of Rail Passenger Transport
Usage: A Case of Buffalo City Municipality
Kholosa Ntlatywa1
Abstract: This study investigated the determinants of rail passengers transport usage. Descriptive analysis in
the form of Pearson-chi square and inferential analysis using probit regression were used in this study for data
analysis. The study used closed-ended questionnaires and they were distributed to 100 people. The results of
the study revealed that level of income, occupation, level of education, safety, and affordability are the common
factors that influence the usage of trains for transport. The frequency of usage based on income was about 44%,
with about 55% of people indicating they make use of trains because they find it a safe mode transport. The
income level, safety, occupation and affordability were statistically insignificant. The level of education had a
high frequency at 74% and it was statistically signifacant.004. The second part of the study assessed the
incidence of train usage and results revealed that most of people (about 74%) travel by train daily. The policy
recommendation from this study is that efforts should made to improve the rail transport services, like the
facilities, speed and the time schedule. This study will contribute to generation of knowledge around these
Keywords: Transport Economics; Transport usage; Economic Activities; Consumer Tastes
JEL Classification: D11
1. Introduction
Transport makes it possible for economic activities and social activities to take place in a particular place
and time (Doll & Wietschel, 2008). It is divided into four modes which are road, air, sea, and rail. The
focus of this study was on rail transport. According to Haglund (2010), rail transport has different
features from other modes of transport such as large capacity and free from traffic jams.
For the past 150 years South Africa has been using rail transport, and this mode of transport was known
as one of the pillars of South Africa’s infrastructure (Africa & Point, 2010). Even today, South Africa
still regards rail transport as suitable transport compared to other modes of transport since rail transport
is mostly utilised for conveying of bulk freight over medium and long distances and for mass commuter
traffic. Africa & Point (2010) considered rail transport as the important tool for growth and this was
supported by Road, Nadu, Thavathivu & Thirumand (2014) who noted that it is suitable for both long
distance travel and bulk mode. Today South Africa is still reaping the benefits provided by rail transport,
which still occupies a critical role in the transport system of our country. In Buffalo City Municipality,
rail transport plays a vital role to the residents due to population growth. There is ongoing demand for
transport, particularly rail transport, since the area is dominated by poor people and they find rail
1 Student, University of Fort Hare, Umtata Area, South Africa, Address: Alice Campus, Ring Road, Alice, 5700, South Africa,
Correspondig author:

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