Developing countries have a history of poor public transport on which mainly lower-income travellers depend. Following the success of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems implemented in several Latin American countries, this mode of transport has enjoyed increased popularity world-wide. It is regarded as an affordable public transport solution for large passenger volumes in a high-quality system. In South Africa, BRT was viewed as a solution for all market segments by providing a high-quality frequent service to attract car users to public transport, as well as to the lower income market, by providing a much-improved quality of service compared to current public transport modes. However, this idealised vision for BRT has not materialised, and its implementation and operation has been met with numerous challenges not least of which is disappointing patronage demand. A key question that arises is whether BRT can accommodate the divergent travel preferences of the different traveller market segments and whether disaggregated segmentation can assist in designing a BRT system that could cater for these divergent needs. The paper summarises the results of a literature review conducted as part of a research project to explore how BRT systems should accommodate the travel needs and preferences of different market segments in unequal societies such as in South Africa. The literature review considered the need and benefits for segmentation; previous methods of identifying market segments internationally and in the South African travel market when planning public transport. In addition, an analysis of the mode choice behaviour of various socio-economic segments of South African commuters is provided and conclusions offered for future segmentation efforts.
Papers presented virtually at the 39th International Southern African Transport Conference on 05 -07 July 2021