Investigating Travel Behavior in Transit-Oriented Development: Toward Sustainable and Multimodal Mobility

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Choi, Yunkyung
Guhathakurta, Subhrajit
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An extensive literature has shown that transit-oriented development residents (TOD) have lower automobile use and diverse travel modes due to easy access to transit, better walkability, and proximity to various amenities. While such benefits of TOD are generally expected, the degree to which TODs influence travel behavior is still debatable. Besides, TOD implementation differs by context, and not all transit areas are developed along TOD principles. This variation in transit areas leads to different impacts on transportation outcomes. Although different TOD typologies have been developed in past studies, they are limited to a particular city or region. The other ongoing debate in land use and travel behavior field is the emergence of new mobility services that enable users to utilize a mode of transport on an as-needed basis. Recent advances in information technologies have facilitated new mobility services that meet travelers’ diverse needs, such as transportation network companies (TNCs), ridesharing, car sharing, bike sharing, microtransit, and shared autonomous vehicles. While new mobility services are expected to play an important role—either positive or negative—in planning how TODs can be implemented, the impacts and consequences of such services on traditional modes of transport such as public transit are still not well understood. In doing so, this dissertation investigates different modes of transportation in TOD areas by posing the following research questions: 1) do people walk more in transit-oriented developments? 2) are residents more multimodal in transit-oriented developments? and 3) what is the potential impact of new mobility services on public transit demand? For the first question, this dissertation addresses the effect of rail transit access on walking behavior in TOD areas. TODs are compared to other similar areas without rail transit access to determine whether people are more likely to walk in TODs for purposes other than transit use in Atlanta. The second question is addressed by identifying different TOD types on their impacts on residents’ multimodal behavior to capture various conditions of existing TODs and their heterogeneous outcomes. This research identifies different types of 4,400 transit areas—a half-mile buffer area from rail station—in the U.S. and develops several analytic models to explain the multimodal traveler behavior in the 2017 NHTS. The third question examines the potential impacts of TNCs on transit demand in Chicago, with a particular focus on understanding heterogeneity in the effects by employing fixed effects panel regression models. By investigating various travel behavior around transit station areas, this dissertation provides insights on how TODs can be better implemented to promote sustainable and multimodal travel behavior.
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