Walking to public transit: Exploring variations by socioeconomic status

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian, ridership - mode choice, planning - marketing/promotion, planning - surveys, planning - network design


Cluster, market segmentation, public transit, transit access, walking time, walking to transit


The choice to use public transit as a mean of travel is largely influenced by walking access from origin to transit facilities. Existing network planning uses a 400-m walking distance to bus stops to define the catchment area. This approach has been questioned in the literature because of its inability to take into account various factors pertaining to walking access. Using household travel survey data of Brisbane, Australia, this research explores the variation in walking time among individuals with different socioeconomic standings. Bus users in Brisbane are first divided into true transit captive users and nontrue transit captive users to compare their walking times to bus stops, which shows no significant difference. In a subsequent analysis, nontrue transit captive users are further divided into eight groups using the two-step clustering technique. A comparative analysis reveals that walking time is most sensitive among part-time workers, high-income earners, and elderly travelers. Walking time is least sensitive among postsecondary students who are studying and working at the same time. Findings from this study will contribute to the understanding of people's walking access to public transit, the reasons for substantial variations across individuals, and potential impacts of individuals' socioeconomic characteristics, which will assist transit service planning to tailor different market segments more effectively.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.