Understanding the effects of transit benefits on employees’ travel behavior: Evidence from the New York-New Jersey region

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - bike, mode - car, mode - pedestrian, mode - rail, mode - bus, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting, ridership - mode choice, planning - surveys, planning - travel demand management, economics - benefits


Transport benefits, Mode choice, Travel behavior, Travel demand management, Commute trips


Implementing effective travel demand management measures provides an opportunity to reduce transport dependence on the private car. There is growing acknowledgement that the strategy of implementing transit benefits may boost transit ridership and reduce personal vehicle use. This research contributes to the understanding of this issue by examining the relationship between commuter benefits and mode choice for commuting trips in the states of New York and New Jersey (US). Based on individual data from the Regional Household Travel Survey conducted by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council and North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, we adopted a multinomial logit model to identify the extent to which transport benefits to employees – including public transport-related, private transport-related and benefits for walking and cycling – promote changes in commuters’ modal split. The analysis shows that commuter benefits play a significant role in explaining observed travel patterns. Benefit programs that pay for auto expenses (e.g. toll payments, mileage reimbursement, free parking) are negatively correlated with transit, biking, and walking, while employer-funded benefit programs for transit passes and bike reimbursements increase their respective mode shares. This result confirms that promoting these types of measures is an effective policy to encourage the use of public transport modes, thus increasing efficiency and sustainability in daily mobility patterns.


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


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