Dissecting the Role of Transit Service Attributes in Attracting Commuters Lessons from a Comprehensive Revealed Preference-Stated Preference Study on Commuting Mode-Switching Behavior in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - mode choice, operations - crowding, planning - surveys, planning - service level, mode - bus rapid transit, mode - subway/metro, mode - tram/light rail


transit service, Commuting Survey for Mode Shift, travel cost, in-vehicle travel time, crowding, subway, light rail, bus


An investigation on the influence of transit service attributes on mode switching toward local transit for home-based commuting trips involved the design, implementation, and analysis of a Commuting Survey for Mode Shift. This survey exploits revealed preference mode choice information to build the stated preference mode switching experiments. The collected data set was used for estimating econometric choice models of mode switching toward transit. Separate models were estimated for car drivers and shared ride users. The empirical models showed that travel cost and in-vehicle travel time were of lower importance compared with other transit level-of-service attributes such as crowding level and number of transfers. That commuters prefer rail-based transit modes (e.g., subway and light rail transit) to other transit options (e.g., bus rapid transit) was evident. The developed models can enrich the transit service planning toolbox for delivering more efficient and attractive services that maximize transit ridership along with other objectives.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.