A utility-based travel impedance measure for public transit network accessibility

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, place - urban, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting, ridership - perceptions


Transit network accessibility, Transit impedance, Logit logsum


A utility-based travel impedance measure is developed for public transit modes that is capable of capturing the passengers’ behaviour and their subjective perceptions of impedance when travelling in the transit networks. The proposed measure is time-dependent and it estimates the realisation of the travel impedance by the community of passengers for travelling between an origin–destination (OD) pair.

The main advantage of the developed measure, as compared to the existing transit impedance measures, relates to its capability in capturing the diversity benefit that the transit systems may offer the society of travellers with different traveling preferences. To clarify the necessity of such capability, we demonstrate the randomness (subjectivity) of travel impedance perceived by transit passengers, through evidence from the observed path choices made in the transit network of the greater Brisbane metropolitan region in Australia.

The proposed impedance measure is basically a nested logit “logsum” composition over a generated set of reasonable path options whose systematic utilities are evaluated based on a discrete choice model previously developed and calibrated for the greater Brisbane transit passengers. As a case study, the proposed impedance measure is calculated for all the origin blocks in the Brisbane area, during the morning commutes to the Central Business District (CBD). The results are presented and discussed, and intuitive and important advantages are demonstrated for the proposed measure.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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