Effects of violent crime and vehicular crashes on active mode choice decisions in New York City

Nicholas S. Caros, Joseph Y.J. Chow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Substantial research has explored the effects of different variables on mode choice with the intent of understanding this behavior so that active modes can be encouraged. This study furthers that effort by investigating the impact of perceived danger from crime on the probability of choosing an active mode of transportation among travellers in New York City from 2009 to 2011. This study uses trip data from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council Regional Household Travel Survey along with historical crime and vehicle collision data to estimate a random utility model. Traveller demographic information, travel cost and incidence of crime and vehicle collisions involving pedestrians or cyclists are used as explanatory variables in a mixed logit model. The finding implies that travellers could be encouraged to cycle by reducing crime levels, or by being provided an alternative route with less crime. Based on the model results it can be determined that travellers are willing to pay $0.66 for a 1000-point reduction in crime severity. An increase in crime of 1% has a much greater impact on bike ridership (2.11% reduction) than on walking (0.06% reduction). Removing crime completely would improve a traveler's trip satisfaction by as much as $0.26 per trip. Compared to crime, collision rate has a much stronger impact on bike ridership, with an elasticity of −7.56 (3.6 times higher elasticity than crime).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalTravel Behaviour and Society
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Active transportation
  • Crime
  • Mixed logit
  • New York City
  • Travel behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation

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