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Ticket Sales and Passenger Forecasting Model Development for Metro-North Rail Road
Steer Davies Gleave developed ticket sales and revenue forecasting models for Metro North Rail Road (MNR), the second largest commuter rail service in the United States. The models, based on econometric modeling techniques, provide short, medium and long-term estimates of future ticket sales for each of the ticket types offered by the agency.
The model development is challenging on several fronts: the different ticket types include commuter (monthly, weekly and one-way peak period), mixed commuter and leisure (one-way off-peak) and several smaller ticket types with a purely leisure and discretionary market profile. Each of these ticket types needed to be modeled separately to account for considerable difference in behavior and price responsiveness in the markets.
The MNR market is also vast geographically, with three major lines serving three different states. All lines needed to be modeled separately, with additional segmentation for lower and upper regions (with the former nearer to the terminus at Grand Central Station and the latter further North). In the end, over fifty separate models were developed to form the basic forecast tool.
Steer Davies Gleave has also developed interactive forecasting tools incorporating the numerous models. The forecast tool has been provided to MNR for the agency to develop periodic forecasts for their budgeting and capital planning.