There are five (5) transport modes and main purpose of each of them is to give support to mobility. This explains why mobility is important in our daily activities. Mobility and transport infrastructure are closely related; hence, without mobility, transport infrastructure will be useless and without transport infrastructure; mobility will be difficult if not possible. However, this interdependency between mobility and transport infrastructure is associated to two (2) concepts in transport which are transport demand and supply.
Transportation can be referred to as a market that involves two parties which are: the suppliers of transport services and the users of these services, therefore, the demand and the supply of transport is inevitable in transport market.
In addition, for transport market to function very well, transport demand must be met, so as to satisfy transport needs for mobility. In transportation market, transport companies or individual transport provider offers transport services to transport users who require such services, often on open markets. Nevertheless, the transport users pay for the services delivered according to the journey of the agreed contract.
What is transport demand? Transport demand occurs when a transport user is willing and able to pay a transport fare or particular amount of money based on the two parties’ agreement for a specific transport service. It is also refers to how much of a transport service is desired by transport users at various transport fares (price). Nevertheless, transport demand can be measured in numbers of journey made.
Factors influencing transport demand
Movement of people and good occur for different reasons at different times. There are several factors that influence the demand for transport mode such factors can be grouped into three (3) categories; they are:
- Personal characteristics
- Trip characteristics
- Transport system
Transport demand can be influenced by demographic group of people such as age, old, gender etc. It also includes socio-economics, personal reference and so on.
Transport demand can be influenced by the number of people going to their place of work, people visiting tourist and recreation centers; education; shopping and so on, are all factors that can affect the demand for transportation.
Transportation system is another factor that can influence transport demand. This include available travel routes, available transport mode, road and transit network, cost of travel, transport fare, travel condition, auto operating cost, reliability of service, to mention but a few.
What is Transport Supply?
Transport supply is the amount of transport services a transport company or individual transport provider is able to provide at a particular given time and on agreed fare (cost).
Factors influencing transport supply
- Types and characteristics of goods
The bulk, the weight and the value of goods may determine the mode and kind of transport needed for particular goods.
- The Cost of freight
- The origin and destination of goods and available transport
- The distance of the journey: e.g. Inter-regional, Trans Ocean, Continent etc.
- Urgency and reliability of delivery, convenience, efficiency of travel, including modal transfer.
In conclusion, it is important to note that transport system behavior is always according to transport demand and supply that can be influenced by cost variation.