|M.Sc Student||Namir Atalia|
|Subject||The cCaracteristics of the Door-to-Door Journey to Work and|
its Effect on the dDmand for Rail Use
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Pnina Plaut|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
In the research literature regarding choice of travel mode, a number of factors that affect decisions have been overlooked. These have generally not been included in the analysis because they address the satisfaction level of the population that already uses train services instead of examining how to increase rail demand. Many papers do not separate the opinions and travel habits of 'captive' passengers who have no viable alternatives from those of passengers who can choose alternatives -mainly passengers who have access to both car and train transport. There has been less investigation of factors that are not specifically related to the 'primary mode choice' (train or private car), but complement or supplement the door-to-door journey, including access to train stations, use of information systems, trip chaining and flexible work arrangements ('soft variables'). These factors can deter use of train or public transit.
This research identifies the factors that influence commuter's inclination to opt for trains instead of private cars. Our approach is unusual in that it addresses the different stages of the door-to-door journey to work, concentrating on the 'soft variables.' We focused on 'potential train passengers,' people who live and work in close proximity to a train station but prefer to commute by car. This group was compared to their mirror counterparts; commuters who have an available private car but regularly travel by train.
We designed an online survey, which was distributed via electronic mail and social networks. A descriptive and statistical analysis of respondents' personal characteristics and traveling habits was conducted, focusing on the differences between car and train commuters. These differences were used to develop a decision-tree model that replicates the process of choosing a travel mode to work. The model identifies the considerations and characteristics that result in a preference for a certain transport mode, and the relations between them.
To date, theory and empirical research have concluded that the passenger's personal characteristics and the train's level of service are the most influential factors in the mode choice process, whereas the 'soft factors' have a secondary effect, if any. However, the findings presented here establish that 'soft factors' have a significant effect upon the decision to travel to work by train. Respondents' stated and revealed preferences indicate that, along with train service frequency and fares, - train station access, use of information systems and trip chaining - have the strongest impact upon travel mode choice.