Travel Mode Choice Framework Incorporating Realistic Bike and Walk Routes

For a number of reasons—congestion, public health, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, demographic shifts, and community livability to name a few—the importance of walking and bicycling as transportation options will only continue to increase. Currently, policy interest and infrastructure funding for nonmotorized modes far outstrip our ability to model bike and walk travel. To ensure scarce resources are used most effectively, accurate models sensitive to key policy variables are needed to support long-range planning and project evaluation, and to continue adding to our growing understanding of key factors driving walk and bike behavior. This research attempts to synthesize and advance the state of the art in trip-based, nonmotorized mode choice modeling. Over the past fifteen years, efforts to model the decision to walk or bike on a given trip have been hampered by the lack of a comprehensive behavioral framework and inconsistency in measurement scales and model specification. This project develops a mode choice behavioral framework that acknowledges the importance of attributes along the specific walk and bike routes that travelers are likely to consider, in addition to more traditional area-based measures of travel environments. The proposed framework is applied to a revealed preference, Global Positioning System (GPS)-based travel dataset collected from 2010-2013 in Portland, Oregon. Measurement of nonmotorized trip distance, built environment, tour-level variables, and attitudinal attributes as well as mode availability are explicitly addressed. Route and mode choice models are specified using discrete choice techniques, and predicted walking and bicycling routes are tested as inputs to various mode choice models. Results suggest strong potential for predicted route measures to enhance walk and bicycle mode choice modeling. Findings also support the specific notion that bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure contribute not only to route choice but also to the choice of whether to bike or walk. For decisions to bicycle, availability of low-traffic routes may be particularly important to women. Model results further indicate that land use and built environments around trip ends and a person’s home still have important effects on nonmotorized travel when controlling for route quality. Both route and area travel environment impacts are mostly robust to the inclusion of residential self-selection variables, consistent with the idea that built environment differences matter even for households that choose to live in a walkable or bikeable neighborhood. The combination of area and route-based built environment measures alongside trip context, sociodemographic, and attitudinal attributes provides a new perspective on nonmotorized travel behavior relevant to both policy and practice.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 165p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01641175
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NITC-D-718
  • Created Date: Jul 17 2017 4:25PM