Segmenting preferences and habits of transit users and non-users

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - behaviour


Ridership is a key goal in the transit industry. Conventional transit analysis focuses on two types of users—captive and choice riders—but rarely aims to understand the preferences of non-transit riders. This research aims to better understand habits and preferences—for both users and non-users of the transit system—as they relate to the transit market in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Our research first articulates different broad market segments commonly considered in transit research and follows by describing how specific features of transit service characteristics may play out in influencing demand. We describe the source of two surveys analyzed in this application, one for existing transit users and a separate one for non-users. Our analysis approach employs factor and cluster analysis to shed light on preference and other characteristics for eight different segments of transit users or potential transit users. The discussion section and conclusions highlight the findings and prescribe relevant policy recommendations.


Permission to publish the abstract given by the Journal of Public Transportation.