Multimodal Connections with Transitways: Ridership, Access Mode, and Route Choice Implications - Phase II Analysis and Documentation

Principal Investigator(s):

Yingling Fan, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs


  • Andrew Guthrie, Former U of M Researcher, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Alireza Khani, Associate Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

Transit trips have an inherent degree of complexity that sets them apart from automotive trips: all transit trips are actually multimodal trips. Every transit trip includes an access leg (from trip origin to boarding stop), a line-haul leg aboard a transit vehicle, and an egress leg (from alighting stop to trip destination). Traditionally, transit planning has focused on promoting pedestrian access and egress modes in the urban core while allowing for personal auto access legs in the suburbs through the provision of park-and-ride facilities. Recent developments in transit and transportation in general have rendered this understanding of transit access and egress modes overly simplistic. Specific developments include: the proliferation of transitways such as light rail and bus rapid transit lines, which effectively create hierarchical transit systems in regions across the nation; non-personal auto modes of transportation such as bike- and car-sharing; and mobility-focused mobile apps provided by transit agencies and private companies that facilitate trip planning, fare payment, and/or ride hailing. This research is exploring the impact of station-area, intermodal transportation services and facilities--such as park-and-ride lots, connecting bus services, car- and bike-sharing services, and mobility app availability at the agency and region level--on transitway ridership at the station level. It is doing so using a direct ridership model. This research is also exploring the determinants of access and egress mode choice at the individual level through the use of a discrete choice model, and it is exploring individual-level route choice through the transit system. Transit route choice is inherently more complex due to: 1) factors affecting users' perceptions of transit such as transfers between routes or waiting time at stops; 2) the availability of many possible routes in a large-scale network, which leads to complexity in determining a universal set of attractive paths for an individual; and 3) the joint choice between access mode and stop choice (for example, a rider choosing between a walk-and-ride trip and a park-and-ride trip would often board at different stops under each scenario). The research will ultimately advance understanding of how to maximize transitway ridership using multimodal connections, how transit users choose among those connections, and how they choose among different transit routes.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2018060
  • Start date: 11/2017
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Planning and Economy
  • Topics: Planning, Transit planning