Who will use the train? A market segmentation study of potential light rail users in Montreal QC, Canada

An understanding of the public transport market can help agencies reach their goals of achieving high levels of utilization of major infrastructure investments. The goal of this research is to better understand the potential users market of one of Montreal’s current major public endeavors, the Réseau express métropolitain (REM). The authors conducted a survey of the Montreal population in fall 2019 while the $6.3 billion light rail system is being constructed and before it is operational. Drawing on vetted transport market segmentation frameworks, this study employs an exploratory factor analysis to reveal factors that affect respondents’ propensity to use the REM. A k-means cluster test is applied to the factors to articulate market segments. The analysis returned four clusters that form a clear spectrum of least likely to most likely REM users: car friendly non-users, urban core potential users, transit friendly users, and leisure and airport users. Positive opinion, proximity, and desire to use the REM for leisure or non-work trips are three key characteristics of likely users. There is a visible relationship between clusters who are likely to use the REM and clusters who agree that the REM will benefit their neighborhood. Improving perceived neighborhood benefit, accommodating leisure use, emphasizing destinations, and highlighting public transport connections are four core ways that planners and engineers can increase the number of people who are likely to use such major infrastructure.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763709
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-01850
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:09AM