Public transit, active travel, and the journey to school: a cross-nested logit analysis

Alireza Ermagun, David Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Like walking and biking, public transit presents an opportunity to accomplish a portion of the recommended daily physical activity. Much of the previous research has been limited to descriptive analyses quantifying the active component of public transit using advanced econometrics models. This paper overcomes this challenge by applying a two-level cross-nested logit model. We use the school trip information of 3441 middle and high school students in Tehran. We show a 1% increase in home-to-school distance reduces physical activity by 0.91%. Considering public transit a solely non-active mode, this reduction equals 2.21%. Therefore, ignoring the ‘quasi-active’ role of public transit overestimates the physical activity reduction of students by 142%. We also indicate a 1% decrease in access to transit stations diminishes physical activity by 0.04%. This diminution is 0.02% when we apply the nested logit model. This is the direct consequence of ignoring the active component of public transit trips.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-37
Number of pages14
JournalTransportmetrica A: Transport Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017


  • Public transit
  • physical activity
  • school trips
  • walking


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