, Volume 45, Issue 6, pp 1755–1781 | Cite as

Mode choice and travel distance joint models in school trips

  • Alireza ErmagunEmail author
  • Amir Samimi


We test a copula-based joint discrete–continuous model to unravel mode choice and travel distance decisions in a joint framework for school trips. This framework explicitly accounts for common unobserved factors that may affect both the mode choice and travel distance. Joint estimation of the models makes a significant difference in the effect of travel distance on willingness to walk to school. The absolute value of the travel distance coefficient in the mode choice model increases by 22% when a joint formulation is adopted instead of the conventional single estimations. We find a significant decrease of 19% in the coefficient of travel safety perception in the joint mode choice model compared to the single model. This underscores the impact of model specification, in terms of the variable effect interpretation and policy assessments. The effect magnitude of several policy-sensitive variables is discussed and compared with previous studies. Particularly, we indicate that the probability of walking is reduced by 0.85% due to a 1% increase in travel distance; accordingly, it propels parents to select non-active modes, particularly school bus. This study also demonstrates how addressing parental concerns about travel safety could double the propensity to walk to school.


Copula-based model Mode choice School siting School trips Safety 



We would like to thank Professor Abdul Pinjari for the helpful comments. He offered detailed advices on the modeling procedure and the theme of the paper. We also thank Ali Shamshiripour for providing assistance in the code development process, and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.McCormick School of Engineering and Applied ScienceNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringSharif University of TechnologyTehranIran

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