Role of user's socio-economic and travel characteristics in mode choice between city bus and informal transit services: Lessons from household surveys in Visakhapatnam, India

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - paratransit, mode - demand responsive transit, place - asia, place - urban, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, operations - frequency, planning - surveys


Public transport, City Bus, Paratransit, User Characteristics, Travel behaviour, Demand responsive transit


Informally operated paratransit or Intermediate Public Transport (IPT) systems provide demand responsive transit in many developing countries, often competing with formal public transport systems. Literature on the relative user characteristics of the two modes and their choice behaviour between the systems is limited. This article addresses the gap by presenting a methodology to derive a comprehensive understanding of socio-economic and travel demand characteristics of all transit users in a city. The household survey based data collection and analysis framework is demonstrated for the case of Visakhapatnam, a medium sized Indian city. The variables impacting users' choice between the formal and informal modes were derived through binary logistic regression. It was observed that gender, income and travel time have a significant influence on users' choice between the modes, with waiting time having the maximum impact on mode choice. Therefore, the high frequency services offered by paratransit attract users making shorter trips.


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


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