An assessment of demand for rural intercity transportation services in a changing environment

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - rural, place - north america, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, ridership - modelling


mode choice, rural, behaviour, lower income, high gas prices


With higher fuel costs and changing economic conditions, travel behavior and the level and allocation of resources in highways, rail, air, and transit service in rural areas may be changing. The objective of this study is to determine the attitude of would-be passengers in their choice of mode and the factors determining their choice in rural and small urban areas. A stated preference survey was developed and administered to residents of North Dakota and northwest and west central Minnesota. The survey asked respondents to identify their mode of choice in different hypothetical situations in which five modes were available-automobile, air, bus, train, and van-under differing mode and trip characteristics. A multinomial logit model was used to estimate the likelihood that an individual would choose a given mode on the basis of the characteristics of the mode, the characteristics of the individual, and the characteristics of the trip. Results show that travelers, especially those of lower income, respond to higher gasoline prices by choosing alternative modes in greater numbers, suggesting rural intercity bus, van, and rail ridership would increase if gasoline prices rose.


Permission to publish has been given by TRB. Copyright remains with them.