Train-feeder modes in Italy. Is there a role for active mobility?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - rail, mode - car, mode - bike, mode - pedestrian, mode - bus, planning - surveys, ridership - commuting, ridership - mode choice


Active mobility, Walking, Cycling, Train feeder modes, Commuters, Gender, Revealed preferences, Stated preferences


The transport mode used to reach a train station is an important determinant of the urban traffic and rail transport attractiveness. In this paper, we have investigated train-feeder mode choice on the basis of 185 interviews with Italian train users living in cities of different size. We analyzed their current choice and their stated choices under hypothetical scenarios using various discrete choice model specifications. Their current train-feeder mode choice is mainly car-based: 63.2% of the respondents use the car, as either drivers or passengers. The active modes cycling and walking are chosen by 18.4% and 9.7% of the respondents, respectively; the remaining using either the bus or the scooter. Our estimates confirm that travel time and travel cost play a relevant role with two covariates, commuter and gender, explaining the large heterogeneity of the active mobility travel time variable. However, the performed scenario analysis suggests that, in many instances, it is extremely difficult to alter the existing train-feeder mode choice in favor of the active modes and that promoting active mobility in Italy requires a coordinated effort at many levels, including territorial planning, infrastructural investment and traffic regulations.


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


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