Travel mode choice and transit route choice behavior in Montreal: insights from McGill University members commute patterns

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - universities, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting, ridership - mode choice


transit route choice, mode choice, commute patterns, transit attributes and travel behaviour


In developed countries such as Canada and United States, a significant number of individuals depend on automobile as their main mode of transport. There has been a stronger push towards analyzing travel behavior at the individual level so that transportation agencies can formulate appropriate strategies to reduce the auto dependency. Towards this pursuit of enhancing our understanding on travel behavior, we examine individual home to work/school commute patterns in Montreal, Canada with an emphasis on the transit mode of travel. The overarching theme of this paper is to examine the effect of the performance of the public transportation system on commuter travel mode and transit route choice (for transit riders) in Montreal.We investigate two specific aspects of commute mode choice: (1) the factors that dissuade individuals from commuting by public transit and (2) the attributes that influence transit route choice decisions (for those individuals who commute by public transit). This study employs a unique survey conducted by researchers as part of the McGill University Sustainability project. The survey collected information on commute patterns of students, faculty and staff from McGill University. In addition, detailed sociodemographic and residential location information was also collected. The analysis was undertaken using multinomial logit model for the travel mode choice component and a mixed multinomial logit model for the transit route choice component. The model estimation results were employed to conduct policy sensitivity analysis that allows us to provide recommendations to public transportation and metropolitan agencies.


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