Title

EFFECT OF FREE PARKING ON COMMUTER MODE CHOICE: EVIDENCE FROM TRAVEL DIARY DATA

Authors

D B. Hess

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2001

Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, ridership - mode choice, ridership - commuting, ridership - demand, policy - parking, mode - mass transit, mode - carpool

Keywords

Work trips, Vehicle miles of travel, Travel time, Travel diaries, Transit, SOVs, Single occupant vehicles, Public transit, Probability, Portland (Oregon), Parking payment systems, Parking fees, Parking demand, Multinomials, Mode choice, Modal choice, Mass transit, Logits, Logit models, Local transit, Journey to work, Journey time, Free parking, Costs, Commuters, Choice of transportation, Carpools

Abstract

This study assesses the effect of free parking on mode choice and parking demand. A multinomial logit model is developed to evaluate the probabilities that commuters who do and do not receive free parking at work will choose to drive alone, ride in a carpool, or use transit for the trip to work in the central business district (CBD) of Portland, Oregon. The mode choice model predicts that with free parking, 62% of commuters will drive alone, 16% will commute in carpools, and 22% will ride transit; with a daily parking charge of $6, 46% will drive alone, 4% will ride in carpools, and 50% will ride transit. The mode choice model predicts that a daily parking charge of $6 in the Portland CBD would result in 21 fewer cars driven for every 100 commuters. This translates to a daily reduction of 147 vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per 100 commuters and an annual reduction of 39,000 VMT per 100 commuters. These findings are consistent with previous studies on how parking cost affects mode choice. The policy variables that help influence mode choice decisions for commuters are the parking cost and the travel time by transit. The results suggest that raising the cost of parking at work sites and decreasing the transit travel time (by improving service and decreasing headways) will reduce the drive alone mode share. The results provide little support for the contention that land use is a significant factor in mode choice decisions.