Walking to Public Transit: Win-Win Solution for Sustainable Transportation

Walking is a sustainable travel choice that brings benefits to the walker himself and to his environment. Usually regarded as a separate mode of transportation, it is also present in trips made using the transit system. Using data from the 2003 Origin-Destination Survey carried out in Montreal, this paper shows empirical evidence that modal shift from car to transit contributes to the volume of daily physical activity. First, the paper presents a method to calculate the walking distance related to transit trips, and a totally disaggregate trip assignment model. The walking distance involved in every transit trip is then associated to the individuals' characteristics to estimate the number of steps made by the population in the whole transit system. Results show that, in average, a transit trip involves 1,250 steps, required to access and egress the network as well as to transfer between routes or modes. Thus, a round trip represents 2,500 steps, which account for 25% of the recommended volume of physical activity per day. Hence, analysis shows that the volume of walking varies according to attributes of the traveler (general decrease with age, higher for men) and of the trip (study and work trip involve more steps, the use of train generates more steps). A regression model confirms that these variables significantly affect the number of steps involved in transit trips. Finally, a modal shift scenario confirms that potential health benefits are significant. Such positive outcome, for the traveler himself, is an innovative argument to promote the use of transit that is also aligned with current sustainable transportation goals.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 88th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01128796
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 09-0695
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: May 19 2009 7:48AM