Commuters’ Assessment of Public Transport as a “Reasonable” Option in Montreal, QC

Retaining and increasing public transport ridership is a centerpiece of many strategies to address both the climate crisis and public health challenges. Understanding how and why commuters choose or reject public transport as a viable option or actual mode is, thus, central to policymakers’ efforts. This study makes use of a detailed travel-behavior survey conducted at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, to answer two key questions: 1) What factors influence travelers’ perception of public transport as a reasonable commuting option? and 2) From among those travelers that do consider public transport to be reasonable, what factors influence their final decision to use it? One important finding is that there is sometimes a disconnect between the factors that influence a person’s initial assessment of reasonableness and subsequent mode choice. For example, car owners were paradoxically more likely to consider public transport a reasonable option but significantly less likely to use it. More generally, another important finding of this study is that there may be a sizeable contingent of travelers who consider public transport to be a reasonable or viable option but nonetheless decline to use it. These travelers may be easier to convert to public transport than those who do not already consider it a reasoanble option, making it important for policymakers to understand their motivations. Ultimately, public transport agencies may be able to use this type of information to develop policies better targeted at bolstering ridership.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • For privacy reasons, the data contained in this study are not made publicly available. For access to the data, you may contact the authors at Transportation Research at McGill, 2017/2018 McGill University Travel Survey data are on file with the authors but are not publicly available for confidentiality reasons. © National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2020.
  • Authors:
    • DeWeese, James
    • El-Geneidy, Ahmed
  • Publication Date: 2020-10


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01750930
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2020 3:04PM