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Using New Mode Choice Model Nesting Structures to Address Emerging Policy Questions: A Case Study of the Pittsburgh Central Business District

Khattak, Zulqarnain and Magalotti, Mark and Miller, John and Fontaine, Michael (2017) Using New Mode Choice Model Nesting Structures to Address Emerging Policy Questions: A Case Study of the Pittsburgh Central Business District. Sustainability, 9 (11). ISSN 2071-1050

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As transportation activities affect a region’s environmental quality, knowing why individuals prefer certain modes can help a region make judicious transportation investments. Using a nested logit model, this paper studies the behavior of commuters to downtown Pittsburgh who use auto, bus, light rail, walking, and biking. Although statistical measures influence the selection of a nesting structure, another criterion for model selection is the policy questions such models inform. Hence this paper demonstrates how an alternative model structure allows planners to consider new policy questions. For example, how might a change in parking fee affect greenhouse gas emission (GHGs)? The proposed model showed that a 5%, 10% and 15% increase in parking cost reduces GHGs by 7.3%, 9% and 13.2%, respectively, through increasing carpoolers’ mode share. Because the proposed model forecasts mode choices of certain groups of travelers with higher accuracy (compared to an older model that did not consider the model selection criteria presented here), the proposed model strengthens policymakers’ ability to consider environmental impacts of interest to the region (in this case, GHGs). The paper does not suggest that one nesting structure is always preferable; rather the nesting structure must be chosen with the policy considerations in mind.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Khattak, Zulqarnain
Magalotti, Markmjm25@pitt.edumjm25
Miller, John
Fontaine, Michael
Date: 17 November 2017
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Sustainability
Volume: 9
Number: 11
Publisher: MDPI AG
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3390/su9112120
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: nested logit model, multinomial logit model, transport policy, travel behavior, econometrics, utility function, systematic term, random term, discrete mode choice, carpool, sustainable transport
ISSN: 2071-1050
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 23:19
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2021 23:19


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