Public transit, active travel, and the journey to school: a cross-nested logit analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - bike, mode - pedestrian, mode - subway/metro, mode - bus rapid transit, ridership - behaviour, ridership - young people, ridership - modelling


Public transit, walking, school trips, physical activity


Like walking and biking, public transit presents an opportunity to accomplish a portion of the recommended daily physical activity. Much of the previous research has been limited to descriptive analyses quantifying the active component of public transit using advanced econometrics models. This paper overcomes this challenge by applying a two-level cross-nested logit model. We use the school trip information of 3441 middle and high school students in Tehran. We show a 1% increase in home-to-school distance reduces physical activity by 0.91%. Considering public transit a solely non-active mode, this reduction equals 2.21%. Therefore, ignoring the ‘quasi-active’ role of public transit overestimates the physical activity reduction of students by 142%. We also indicate a 1% decrease in access to transit stations diminishes physical activity by 0.04%. This diminution is 0.02% when we apply the nested logit model. This is the direct consequence of ignoring the active component of public transit trips.


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