What influences the substitution of ride-sourcing for public transit and taxi services in Toronto? An exploratory structural equation model-based study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, ridership - attitudes, ridership - mode choice, ridership - modelling, planning - methods, planning - surveys, policy - congestion, policy - environment


Ride-sourcing, public transit, substitution, structural equation model, transportation network company


The continued growth and utilization of ride-sourcing services have reshaped traditional perceptions of urban mobility. As the popularity of this relatively novel mode of travel has continued to grow, there has been a greater focus on the effect that the adoption and use of ride-sourcing have on the utilization of more traditional modes of transportation. With a few notable exceptions, prior studies on the topic often rely on descriptive statistics to understand the modes that are replaced by ride-sourcing for specific trips. This study utilizes structural equation models to investigate the factors influencing the decision to choose public transit and taxi as their so-called substitute alternative mode for a recent ride-sourcing trip, using data from a web-based survey of Toronto residents. The results indicate that socio-economic and trip-related attributes influence the selection of the substitute alternative mode, and to a lesser extent, attitudes toward ride-sourcing services. In particular, students, persons from lower-income households, and transit pass owners were found to be more likely to substitute ride-sourcing for public transit, while older respondents and persons from wealthier households were more likely to select taxi instead. The study outcomes shed light on the types of transit trips that are more likely to be replaced in favor of ride-sourcing services and the attributes of individuals who are more likely to make this replacement. This information can inform policies that aim to reduce the substitution of ride-sourcing for public transit, which can worsen both congestion and emissions.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.