User Evaluations of Intermodal Travel to Work: Exploratory Studies

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User Evaluations of Intermodal Travel to Work: Exploratory Studies


The general importance of intermodal travel (i.e., travel in which there is a combination of modes to a destination, for example, train or light rail and a bus connection) has been emphasized in extensive congressional hearings and in state and regional spon¬sored transportation studies. Available empirical studies of the use of intermodal travel have predominantly been in cases where travel is across cities or regions. These studies have most often related use of intermodal travel options to distance, time of day and user demographics and user-identified factors and ratings that evaluate these factors. The principal objective of this explor¬atory study is to identify candidate factors that users relate to the public transit options when work travel is within a local corridor.

Two focus groups were conducted in each of two travel corridors in Northern California’s Bay Area. Results identify four factors that are reported to be major considerations in user evaluation of intermodal travel to work. The importance of these factors is indicated by their independent identification in each group and the amount of discussion of the factors. The cost of uncertainty in waiting time between connections and the imputed lack of coordination between modes in service offerings were among the predominant factors in the discussions of all groups.



Steven Silver is a professor in the Lucas Graduate School of Business and College of Business at San José State University. He has earned an MA and MBA from the University of Chicago, a PhD from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley and has been a visiting scholar and post-doctoral fellow at the London School of Economics and at Stanford University. Dr. Silver has authored numerous reports and publications in consumer behavior, urban economics and measurement methodology. He has also served on advisory groups and panels for management of the arts and the design of trans¬portation-related programs.

June 2011
Intermodal transportation
Mode choice
Travel by mode
Work trips



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