Exploring the 2011 Massachusetts Travel Survey: Barriers and Opportunities Influencing Mode Shift

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Posted 2/17

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) supports the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s long-term objective of significantly increasing transit’s mode share, which is part of a larger goal of reducing the share of trips by single-occupant vehicles. To inform the process of effecting the desired mode shifts, the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) to the Boston Region MPO analyzed detailed travel data reported by participants in the 2011-Massachusetts Travel Survey (2011-MTS).

The 2011-MTS contains information about all household travel, but it is especially detailed with respect to work trips and school trips. This report, Exploring the 2011 Massachusetts Travel Survey: Barriers and Opportunities Influencing Mode Shift, focuses on these two travel markets, defines relevant submarkets, and identifies aspects of key submarkets that make transit competitive. In the report, staff quantifies characteristics of transit-competitive travel submarkets, which serve as a basis for discussing specific strategies to increase transit’s mode share.

CTPS has developed, and is constantly improving, a regional travel demand model, which intends to predict reliably changes in travel mode shares that result from demographic trends, infrastructure improvements, and certain types of policy initiatives. Using data from the 2011-MTS, staff estimated the mode choice variables for the regional travel demand model. The last section of this report (linked below) describes these variables and relates them to the mode shift analysis presented earlier in the report.

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