Is Servicing Commuters the Goal of the Public Transport System?

Public Transit (PT) networks – lines, stops and even timetables remain stable for many years. Behavioral changes of travelers', in contrast, follow dynamics of urban land-uses in space and in time, habits and introduction of new modes, e.g. ride-hailing or bike sharing and e-scooters. Travelers without access to private cars become "captives" of PT, while the rest use the car almost exclusively. This is the essence of the “PT is for commuters” hypothesis. We analyze Israeli PT smartcard boarding records collected in November 2017 and November 2018 with 4 sequential weeks each month and reveal that only half of the Israeli PT users are commuters or frequent users. The other half use PT infrequently and seem flexible in their mode choice. We discuss possible consequences of this phenomenon on the way to Mobility as a Service of the future.