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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

WashU: Convenience, Incentives May Increase Use of Public Transit

Transit stops close to home and workplace incentives are associated with higher likelihood that commuters will choose public transportation, according to research from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

[Photo:  Dr. Aaron Hipp]

Investigators interviewed 1,338 residents of four metropolitan areas in Missouri about their commuting habits. As previous studies had suggested, they found that  nearly 90 percent drove to work, while 5 percent used public transportation and 6 percent walked or cycled.

Having transit stops within 10-15 minutes’ walking distance from home and workplace incentives like discounts for public transit were associated with its use, the study found.  Having free or low-cost recreation facilities and places to lock bikes around worksites made it more likely that workers walked or cycled to their jobs.

“While changing the physical environment may be challenging, worksite policies such as incentives and safe bike storage are relatively easy and inexpensive to implement,” said co-authors Dr. Aaron Hipp, Assistant Professor at the Brown School, and Dr. Lin Yang of the Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine.

The paper was published online March 18 in the Journal of Transport & Health.

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