Examining the non-linear effects of transit accessibility on daily trip duration: A focus on the low-income population

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - mass transit, mode - bus, mode - rail, place - asia, place - urban, policy - equity, planning - service improvement, ridership - behaviour


daily trip duration, low-income, transit accessibility


Public transit provides an affordable and reliable transport option especially to the vulnerable groups. However, the relevance of transit accessibility to the daily mobility of different social strata has not been fully understood. It remains unclear to what extent the low-income may benefit from enhanced transit accessibility compared to others. Focusing on an Asian metropolis—Hong Kong, this study investigates the interplay between transit accessibility and daily trip duration with a particular focus on the low-income population via a machine-learning approach (Gradient Boosting Decision Tree). Our findings indicate that network accessibility by Mass Transit Rail (MTR) exerts a weaker effect on the duration of mandatory and discretionary trips of the low-income than for the non-low-income for these trips. This implies the presence of possible barriers of using MTR among the low-income. Moreover, marked threshold effects are identified for both MTR and bus accessibility especially in relation to the mandatory and maintenance trips of the low-income. Based on these findings, policy recommendations are proposed to help strengthen the linkage between improvement of transit accessibility and equitable mobility conditions across society.


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


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