Non-price determinants of modal choice decisions. An econometric analysis

Martin Williams, V. Kerry Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Most of the past empirical research on the determinants of household modal choice decisions for work related trips has suggested that the comfort and time involved in each mode of transportation are potentially important influences on individual behavior. Unfortunately, there have been few attempts to specify more precisely the nature of these characteristics. This paper reports the results of an econometric analysis of the implications of the disaggregated characteristics of each available travel mode on the choice of intra-city, in-haul trips. The empirical analysis is based on a household survey in five sections of the Buffalo metropolitan area during 1973. A simple household production model is used to infer the nature of modal choice equations for work and non-work trips. Each model is estimated with ordinary least squares, generalized least squares, logit, and probit. These equations are compared based on the estimated significant determinants of modal choice behavior and the predictions they would imply for the sample households. In terms of both the statistical significance of the measures of each mode's attributes and the predictive performance of the respective estimating equations and methods, our findings strongly support the importance of time and convenience variables in explaining household modal choice decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-217
Number of pages21
JournalRegional Science and Urban Economics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


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