How to promote intermodal transportation in a university town?

Promoting bicycles-on-board (BoB) transit is a popular travel-demand-strategy on many college-campuses in the U.S. as a means to meet overarching sustainability goals. Few studies have only investigated how personal and neighborhood factors influence this mode choice. Combining data from a multi-university stated preference survey with neighborhood conditions, this study examined the effect of personal characteristics and key neighborhood indicators such as: accessibility, diversity, design, density, socioeconomics, walkability/bikeability, and safety on the willingness to utilize BoB for the “first mile” trip to campus journey in Flint, Michigan. The study used exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA), a discrete choice modeling framework, and geovisualizations to understand the likelihood of choosing BoB travel. The results revealed that the majority of people were not interested in BoB, aside from a cluster near the commercial business district. Also noted was that long commutes and reduced access to parks and bicycle facilities dissuaded people from choosing this mode. Surprisingly, a neighborhood’s walkability or bikeability had no effect on respondent’s interest in using BoB. Lastly, the geovisualizations showcased where localized interventions may effectively increase BoB mode choice.