Category Archives: travel behavior

Indifference Bands for Route Switching

Recent working paper:

Di, X, Liu, H, Zhu, S, and Levinson, D. (2014) Indifference Bands for Route Switching

Frequency of Switchers and Stayers vs. Travel Time Saving Percentage
Frequency of Switchers and Stayers vs. Travel Time Saving Percentage
  • Abstract: The replacement I-35W bridge in Minneapolis saw less traffic than the original bridge though it provided substantial travel time saving for many travelers. This observation cannot be explained by the classical route choice assumption that travelers always take the shortest path. Accordingly, a boundedly rational route switching model is proposed assuming that travelers will not switch to the new bridge unless travel time saving goes beyond a threshold or “indifference band”. To validate the boundedly rational route switching assumption, route choices of 78 subjects from a GPS travel behavior study were analyzed before and after the addition of the new I-35W bridge. Indifference bands are estimated for both commuters who were previously bridge users and those who never had the experience of using the old bridge. This study offers the first empirical estimation of bounded rationality parameters from GPS data and provides guidelines for traffic assignment.
    Keywords: Route Choice, Travel Demand Modeling, Bounded Rationality, Indifference Band, GPS Study, Travel Behavior, Networks

The happy commuter: A comparison of commuter satisfaction across modes

My colleagues at McGill just published: The happy commuter: A comparison of commuter satisfaction across modes

Publication date: September 2014
Source:Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, Volume 26, Part A
Author(s): Evelyne St-Louis , Kevin Manaugh , Dea van Lierop , Ahmed El-Geneidy (preprint)

 

Abstract: Understanding how levels of satisfaction differ across transportation modes can be helpful to encourage the use of active as well as public modes of transportation over the use of the automobile. This study uses a large-scale travel survey to compare commuter satisfaction across six modes of transportation (walking, bicycle, automobile, bus, metro, commuter train) and investigates how the determinants of commuter satisfaction differ across modes. The framework guiding this research assumes that external and internal factors influence satisfaction: personal, social, and attitudinal variables must be considered in addition to objective trip characteristics. Using ordinary least square regression technique, we develop six mode-specific models of trip satisfaction that include the same independent variables (trip and travel characteristics, personal characteristics, and travel and mode preferences). We find that pedestrians, train commuters and cyclists are significantly more satisfied than drivers, metro and bus users. We also establish that determinants of satisfaction vary considerably by mode, with modes that are more affected by external factors generally displaying lower levels of satisfaction. Mode preference (need/desire to use other modes) affects satisfaction, particularly for transit users. Perceptions that the commute has value other than arriving at a destination significantly increases satisfaction for all modes. Findings from this study provide a better understanding of determinants of trip satisfaction to transport professionals who are interested in this topic and working on increasing satisfaction among different mode users.

Differences Between Walking and Bicycling Over Time: Implications for Performance Measurement

Recent working paper:

Schoner, J., Lindsey, G., and Levinson, D. (2014) Differences Between Walking and Bicycling Over Time:  Implications for Performance Measurement

Walking and Biking Mode Shares in summer 2001 vs. 2010
Walking and Biking Mode Shares in summer 2001 vs. 2010
  • Transportation policies and plans encourage non-motorized transportation and the establishment of performance measures to assess progress towards multi-modal system goals. Challenges in fostering walking and bicycling include the lack of data for measuring rates of walking and bicycling over time and differences in pedestrians and bicyclists and the trips they make. This paper analyzes travel behavior inventories conducted by the Metropolitan Council in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area in 2001 and 2010 to illuminate differences walking and bicycling over time and illustrate the implications for performance measurement. We focus on the who, what, where, when, and why of non-motorized transportation: who pedestrians and bicyclists are, where they go and why, when they travel, and what factors are associated with the trips they make. Measured by summer mode share, walking and bicycling both increased during the decade, but the differences between the modes overshadow their similarities. Using descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, and multinomial logistic models, we show that walkers are different than bicyclists, that walking trips are shorter and made for different purposes, that walking and bicycling trips differ seasonally, and that different factors are associated with the likelihoods of walking or bicycling. While the increase in mode share was greater for walking than bicycling, the percentage increase relative to 2001 share was greater for bicycling than walking. Both walking and bicycling remain mainly urban transportation options. Older age reduces the likelihood of biking trips more than walking trips, and biking remains gendered while walking is not. These differences call into question the common practice of treating nonmotorized transportation as a single mode. Managers can use these results to develop performance measures for tracking progress towards system goals in a way that addresses the unique and different needs of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Accessibility and the Allocation of Time: Changes in Travel Behavior 1990-2010

Recent working paper:

Brosnan, M and Levinson, D. (2014)  Accessibility and the Allocation of Time: Changes in Travel Behavior 1990-2010

Network Distance to CBD
Network Distance to CBD
  • Using detailed travel surveys conducted by the Metropolitan Council of the Minneapolis-St. Paul (Twin Cities) Region in Minnesota for 1990, 2000-2001, and 2010-2011, this paper conducts a detailed analysis of journey-to-work times, activity allocation and accessibility.  This study corroborates previous studies showing that accessibility is a significant factor in commute durations. Adjusting land use patterns to increase  the number of workers in job-rich areas and the number of jobs in labor-rich areas is a reliable way of reducing auto commute durations. The finding that accessibility and commute duration have a large affect on the amount of time spent at work shows that activity patterns are influenced by transportation and the urban environment in very impactful ways. The descriptive results of this analysis show a measurable decline in the time people spend outside of their homes as well as the amount of time people spend in travel over the past decade. Although trip distances per trip are not getting any shorter, the willingness to make those trip is declining, and as a result fewer kilometers are being traveled and less time on average is being allocated to travel.

Street Network Structure and Activity Spaces

Activity Space
Activity Space

Recently Published:

This research analyses the influence of street network structure on household travel patterns, as measured by activity spaces. The analysis uses street network and travel survey data from the Minneapolis – St. Paul (Twin Cities) and Miami – Ft. Lauderdale (South Florida) metropolitan areas. Various measures of street network structure are used to quantify street network structure. The activity space polygon for each household in the travel survey data set is identified by combining the destinations reached by all household members on the given travel day including the household location. Statistical regression models are then estimated for each study area to test the relationship between street network structure and household activity space. The results show that network structure has a significant influence on household travel patterns, after controlling for other non-network variables such as accessibility to jobs and shops, and car ownership. JEL code: R41, R48, R53 Keywords: Transportation Geography, Network Structure, Circuity, Accessibility

Driving transit retention to renaissance: Trends in Montreal commute public transport mode share and factors by age group and birth cohort

A paper recently published by colleagues:

 

Grimsrud, M. & El‐Geneidy, A. (2013). Driving transit retention to renaissance: Trends in Montreal commute public transport mode share and factors by age group and birth cohort. Public transport: Planning and Operations, 5(3), 119‐241.

 

Public transport mode share for young people appears to be growing in the 21st Century, and higher than previous mode shares appear likely to continue, increasing overall demand as today’s youths age into traditionally lower public transport-use lifecycle stages. This paper tests and supports the latter claim through application of a number of binomial logistic regression models, controlling for socioeconomic, household composition, location and service level factors. Analysis draws from over 10,000 home-based work and school commute trips from each of Montreal’s 1998, 2003, and 2008 origin-destination surveys. One large factor in Montreal’s increased youth public transport usage has been the 1997 introduction of graduated driver’s licensing, which appears to have a substantial lasting licensure damper effect only on men. Controlling for effects of variables other than survey period and age group or birth cohort, recent young age groups show higher public transport use than did their predecessors. Moreover, a plateauing of public transport mode share within birth cohorts is seen to begin earlier in life than expected. This suggests not only continuance of higher than previous transit use, but also further potential for mode share improvements if challenges from lifecycle changes, such as school-to- work transition, can be identified and addressed.

Cancelled Seminar: The Impact of Activities Conducted while Traveling on Mode Choice: An Investigation of Northern California Commuters

Special Seminar Friday, May 9, 2014 11:15am-12:15pm Room 1130, Mechanical Engineering Bldg University of Minnesota East Bank Campus The Impact of Activities Conducted while Traveling on Mode Choice: An Investigation of Northern California Commuters Patricia L. Mokhtarian, Professor School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology