Influences of Neighborhood Characteristics and Personal Attitudes on University Commuters’ Public Transit Use

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - universities, ridership - attitudes, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting, planning - surveys, land use - urban density


built environment, travel behavior, public transit use, sociodemographic characteristics


This study examined the links between attitudes, the built environment, and travel behavior on the basis of data from the Ohio State University’s 2012 Campus Transportation Survey. The analysis results indicated that attitudes might have explained travel behavior better than the built environment. Survey respondents were asked questions about their attitudes on public transit use, and their answers were grouped into new attitudinal factors by using principal component analysis. Then, new neighborhood categories were created by K-means cluster analysis by means of built-environment and land use variables (population density, employment density, housing density, median age of structures, percentage of single-family housing, and intersection density). As a result of this analysis, discrete neighborhood categories, such as urban high-density and residential neighborhoods, and urban low-density and mixed-use neighborhoods, were created. Then, differences in attitudes toward public transit were analyzed across these new neighborhood categories. Binary logit models were estimated to determine the influence of these neighborhood categories as well as personal attitudes on public transit use after sociodemographic characteristics were controlled for. The results indicated that attitudes were more strongly associated with travel behavior than with neighborhood characteristics. The findings of this study will aid in the formation of a better understanding of public transit use by highlighting the effects of attitudes and neighborhood characteristics in transit use as well as differences in attitudes between neighborhood types.


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