How Active Modes Compete with Motorized Modes in High-Density Areas: A Case Study of Downtown Toronto

This paper studies commuters’ mode choice behaviour in high-density areas. The study focuses on short distance commuting trips where active modes (i.e., bike and walk) truly compete with motorized modes. The downtown area of the City of Toronto as one of the most vibrant active neighbourhoods in North America is selected as a case study. Data from the 2011-2012 Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS) is used for the empirical analysis. A Nested Logit (NL) mode choice model with three nests, namely: auto driver, transit, and active modes is developed. In addition to personal and household attributes, the model includes variables that explain individuals’ active mode choice behaviour such as mode-specific travel distances and times, the surrounding built environment, and weather conditions. The empirical investigation reveals useful insights that are helpful in understanding how active modes compete with motorized modes in high-density areas. The built-environment and weather conditions have a strong effect on active mode shares. In addition, shorter distances to destinations and lower travel cost per unit distance contribute significantly to the increase of bike and walk mode shares. Next steps of this research include the application of the developed model for policy analysis. As such, the effect of different variables on short distance trips modal shares can quantified. In addition, future research may consider comparing short distance commuting trips in different planning districts of the GTHA. This will provide more insights on how the built environment affects commuters’ decisions in different parts of the region.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: 1 PDF file, 663 KB, 22p.
  • Monograph Title: Canadian Transportation Research Forum 50th Annual Conference - Another 50 Years: Where to From Here?//Un autre 50 ans : qu'en est-il à partir de maintenant? Montreal, Quebec, May 24-26, 2015

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01605030
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transportation Association of Canada (TAC)
  • Files: ITRD, TAC
  • Created Date: Jul 26 2016 5:04PM