Monday, December 17, 2012

Mode Choice of Short Trips: The Absence of Biking

How do travelers behave when it comes to short trips? Here, I define short trips as trips less than 1 or 2 miles. The following graph is plotted based on the 2007-08 Chicago Household Travel Survey Data. For trips less than 1 mile, 84% of travelers choose to walk. However, there are still some people (11%) who drive. For trips less than 2-mile, the walking share drops significantly to 32% while driving share jumps to 61%. Biking and transit shares did not change considerably.

It is understandable that walking for distances longer than 1 mile is not something that many people can physically do. An alternative mode for a little bit longer distances (up to 2 or 3 miles) is biking which is apparently sadly absent in the choice set of many travelers in Chicago. A large portion of the 61% mode share of driving for less than 2-mile trips can be easily done with biking if sufficient biking infrastructure are built and (as importantly) people gets educated and encouraged to bike.


1 comment:

  1. That's a nice chart Meead that shows how back we are in making bicycle a popular mode in Chicago. But there are some issues with this chart. I guess your analysis is based on trip-based framework not tour-based. Many of these short trips are a part of a tour (tour is defined as a sequence of chained trips starting from and ending at home) and the main reason that a person chooses car as her/his mode for a short trip is not that s/he prefers car to bike. S/he considers all trips and activities he wants to do out of home and then chooses the mode. My suggestion is to run this analysis for Tours with less than 2 miles not trips. Also, purpose of trip is another affecting parameter in mode choice (you usually don't do a heavy shopping with bike).

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