The influence of vicinity to stations, station characteristics and perceived safety on public transport mode choice: a case study from Copenhagen

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian, mode - rail, mode - subway/metro, ridership - perceptions, ridership - mode choice, ridership - attitudes, planning - surveys, planning - personal safety/crime, operations - frequency, land use - impacts


Public transport ridership, Perceived safety, Travel survey, Mode choice, Station vicinity


The perception of safety within the public transport system is of high importance for passengers according to multiple passenger satisfaction surveys. However, among the many studies of public transport mode choice, little focus has been on the influence of safety perceptions. This study contributes to existing literature by specifically investigating the influence of perceived safety on public transport mode choice using a large-scale multimodal travel survey with 17,355 respondents and 42,438 trips from the Greater Copenhagen area. This made it possible to analyse safety at stations while still taking into account other main determinants of public transport usage. The study also includes walking distances to various public transport stops, e.g. metro, suburban and regional train stations, and bus stops, hence taking into account possible differences in attitudes towards different public transport modes. The results of a logistic regression confirm the hypothesis of lower perceived safety at stations being negatively correlated with public transport mode choice, but still to a smaller extent than that of service characteristics in terms of service frequency. The study also revealed that travellers perceive metro and suburban rail services as more attractive, as compared to local rail and bus services. Hence, vicinity to such stations was associated with a higher likelihood of choosing public transport, thus highlighting the importance of close vicinity to high-class services being of the highest importance for attracting passengers to public transport while perceived safety being of minor, yet significant, importance.


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