Factors influencing public transport use: a study of university commuters' travel and mode choice behaviours
Abstract: Student numbers at Australian universities are growing, especially in capital cities. As education and employment destinations, universities are important generators of travel demand on urban transport networks. This study examines travel patterns and identifies factors that influence commuters’ choice of travel mode, using web-based surveys conducted in two consecutive years of 2013 and 2014 in the University of Queensland (UQ). Data concerning where and how staff and students travel to UQ, their preference of different modes as well as potential reasons affecting their mode selection were collected. Our analyses indicate that the overall percentage of public transport users dropped by 9.5% in 2014 compared to those in 2013. Multiple regression models were run to identify key barriers that constrain public transport use. The results highlight that travel time and distance are the most influential predictors of public transport use, indicating that areas with better provision of transport infrastructure associated with higher public transport use. However, the response to transport fare policies varies amongst different user groups. Public transport is more popular for medium to long distance commuters, while student users are more vulnerable than staff to the increase of public transport fare. Therefore, policy intervention targeting specific user groups would be more effective to encourage public transport use.