Smart Mobility Connection Seminar

  • Remote Access
  • Virtual Presentation - ET
  • Associate Professor and Associate Chair
  • Department of City and Regional Planning
  • University of Pennsylvania

What the Heck is a Choice Rider? A Theoretical Framework and Empirical Model.

This presentation explores the definitions, uses, and implications of the terms choice and dependent transit riders. Despite consistent definitions in the academic and professional literature over the past 60 years, the terms lack strong empirical or theoretical grounding.  This presentation develops and estimates a model of choice ridership for the Philadelphia region and discusses academic and policy implications. Many of the attributes assumed to be associated with dependent riders, such as a lack of a car, low income, and being a racial or ethnic minority, are much more prevalent among choice riders than the general population. Moreover, transit dependency is rare. Residents generally only choose transit when service is high quality and transit is cost- and time-competitive with the car for a given trip.

Erick Guerra is Associate Professor and Associate Chair in City and Regional Planning in the Weitzman School of Design, where he teaches courses in transportation planning and quantitative planning methods. His research focuses on the relationship between land use, transportation systems, and travel behavior with an emphasis on rapidly motorizing cities, public health outcomes, and transportation technologies. He has published recent articles on land use and transportation in Mexico and Indonesia, public transport policy, land use and traffic safety, and contemporary planning for self-driving vehicles.

As a practicing researcher and consultant, Guerra has completed projects on accessibility and transportation affordability for the Brookings Institution, the World Bank, the OECD, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. He holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California Berkeley, a Master’s in Urban Planning from Harvard University, and a BA in Fine Arts and French from the University of Pennsylvania. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Gabon from 2002 to 2004.


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