Measuring Changes in Multimodal Travel Behavior Resulting from Transport Supply Improvement

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, planning - service improvement, planning - surveys, planning - methods, policy - sustainable, ridership - behaviour


Multimodal travel behavior, survey, transit, bikesharing, station-based carsharing


Despite the desired transition toward sustainable and multimodal mobility, few tools have been developed either to quantify mode use diversity or to assess the effects of transportation system enhancements on multimodal travel behaviors. This paper attempts to fill this gap by proposing a methodology to appraise the causal impact of transport supply improvement on the evolution of multimodality levels between 2013 and 2018 in Montreal (Quebec, Canada). First, the participants of two household travel surveys were clustered into types of people (PeTys) to overcome the cross-sectional nature of the data. This allowed changes in travel behavior per type over a five-year period to be evaluated. A variant of the Dalton index was then applied on a series of aggregated (weighted) intensities of use of several modes to measure multimodality. Various sensitivity analyses were carried out to determine the parameters of this indicator (sensitivity to the least used modes, intensity metric, and mode independency). Finally, a difference-in-differences causal inference approach was explored to model the influence of the improvement of three alternative transport services (transit, bikesharing, and station-based carsharing) on the evolution of modal variability by type of people. The results revealed that, after controlling for different socio-demographic and spatial attributes, increasing transport supply had a significant and positive impact on multimodality. This outcome is therefore good news for the mobility of the future as alternative modes of transport emerge.


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