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The Impact of Advanced Transit Information on Commuters Mode Changing

UCD-ITS-RP-96-11

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Suggested Citation:
Abdel-Aty, Mohamed A., Paul P. Jovanis, Ryuichi Kitamura (1996) The Impact of Advanced Transit Information on Commuters Mode Changing. Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems 3 (2), 129 - 146

Advanced transit information can contribute to the improvement of transit service levels by providing their users with information on several transit attributes. These systems might encourage non-transit users to use public transit if the desired information is provided. This paper presents a study into the effects of advanced transit information systems on commuters' willingness to use transit and the market opportunities of such systems. To achieve the study's objectives, a computer-aided telephone interview (CATI) was conducted targeting two areas in Northern California (Sacramento and San Jose). The interview collected information on the most important information items that non-transit users seek to have about the transit services available to them. Then using an innovative customized stated preference design, commuters' propensity to use transit in case their preferred transit information items were available was investigated. The survey also addressed commuters' perceptions of transit, and transit users' satisfaction with the information currently available to them.

The results indicated that about 38 percent of the respondents who currently do not use transit might consider transit if more information were available. In general, the majority of the commuters indicated that the frequency of transit service, operating hours, stop location, and transit route map, are the most desired transit information items. Using customized stated preference choice sets, that included the transit travel time and the three most important information items chosen by each respondent, indicated that about half of these respondents were very likely to choose transit as a commute mode at least once per week. Using several modeling formulations illustrated that commute time, car ownership, income, gender and age were among the variables influencing transit use given information was available. Also drivers who are currently receiving traffic information were found more prone to choose transit if information were provided.