Understanding the ground access and airport choice behavior of air passengers using transit payment transaction data

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - value of time, mode - rail, place - asia, place - urban, planning - methods, planning - service improvement, ridership - behaviour, ridership - modelling, technology - passenger information, technology - ticketing systems


Airport choice, Airport rail links, Transit payment transaction data, Ground access


We investigate the ground access and airport choice behavior of individual air passengers that use rail transit in their ground transport to airports. Using a novel dataset of payment transaction records of rail transit trips, we calibrate a binomial logit model of individual's choice between two airports in Beijing, China to examine air passengers' preferences for ground rail service attributes including travel time, travel cost and number of transfers and compute the implied value of travel time and transfer penalty. We further visualize the spatial distribution of access and egress air ridership across the city at the rail transit station level with a set of heat maps and develop a gravity model to understand factors that affect the air ridership at individual stations. Our findings have significant implications for airport planner and transit authorities in assessing the potential benefit of airport rail link projects and improving the efficiency of regional airport systems.


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


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