The sample characterization indicated that of the 511 respondents, 302 were women and 209 were men. Most were between 18 and 25 years old. The mean age of the respondents between 18 and 44 years old was 22 years old. Income comprised the average family income (if the respondent lives with them) or only theirs (if they live alone or with friends). The average income of three to five minimum wages was more frequent (44%), followed by an income of up to two minimum wages (27%). Most of the respondents were single, live with their families or partners, know how to ride a bicycle, know how the city’s public transportation system works, have no children, and live in Joinville.
The most used mode of travel between the origin (home or work) and the IHE is the bus (184 students: 36%), followed by the car (150 students: 29%) and carpooling (11%). Carpooling obtained an impressive number because University B is located in a region with little transport supply and transport infrastructure. Thus, carpooling has become an easier way to commute.
Half of the students who said they use “Other transport modes” do not live in Joinville and use a private bus or van/mini-bus (16 students) and motorcycles (12 students).
Men use cars and bicycles more, while women use buses, walk, and catch rides more. Regarding income, students who use cars have a higher income, while those who use buses have an income of up to five minimum wages.
Most married students use cars (29 students), followed by those who use buses (18 students) and bicycles (6 students). A total of 166 single students commute by bus. Those who share a house with friends usually go by car or catch rides to college. The “living alone” option does not affect the mode choice. For students who live with their families or classmates, the most chosen option is the bus (160 students), followed by the car (114).
Students who work use the bus more, followed by the car.
Even if most of them know how to ride a bicycle, only half of them have one. Even the latter group uses other transport modes aside from the bicycle. Some indications showed that owning a bicycle does not change the transport mode choice.
Among the educational institutions, institution C had more students who use buses (42.5%) and less cars compared to others. Universities B and D had more students who use cars (35.8% and 34.9%, respectively).
Students use public transport more at the beginning of their education and as they move to the middle and end of their education. The opposite happens with the car transport mode, thereby increasing usage as students advance to the end of their education.
The mean bus time was 55.1 min, which is close to the mean time of the “Other transport modes” (i.e., you can compare the time that you spend riding buses within the city with that spent by those who have come from other cities to study). The shortest mean time was obtained for walking because this mode is associated with short distances.
Some bicycle movements outside the limited regions were noted, indicating that some students cycle more than 2.5 km to go to college.
The 2.5 km buffer is the region in which students mostly used cars and buses; however, many motorized commutes are made beyond these distances. This shows that students come from quite diverse backgrounds in the city but are at the bottlenecks near the destination.
5.2. Logit Model for the Stated Preference
This multinomial model analyzes the possibility of the transport mode switch. For this step, 150 answers from Part C of the questionnaire were used. In this case, no division needed to be considered between the calibration and validation samples.
The chosen model (i.e., Model 2) presented the following variables: age, gender, income, who the student lives with, whether they work, travel time, and scenario variables.
By evaluating the coefficients in Table 5
, we can identify the factors influencing the mode switch or the continued use of the car. Most variables resulted in a positive sign, indicating the switch from the car mode to another mode.
All the IHEs had a positive impact on switching from car to bus. However, C students do not switch their cars for walking or cycling even if the university currently provides covered bicycle racks. Considering that 68.4% of the students in this university work, one hypothesis for this result is that the students have many activities to do before or after class, which, according to [40
], can impair their choice of modes other than the car. However, the model pointed out that working students would switch the car for any other transport mode. One possible justification would be the perception that working students value their money more and would, therefore, think about the savings made by eliminating car expenses. No other model would have this expense if paid parking at work is considered.
Male students are less likely to switch to the bus and more likely to switch to the bicycle. This result is in agreement with that obtained by [20
]. Living with a family or a partner would make the user switch from car to bus. The higher the student’s income, the less the likelihood of changing modes (i.e., those who earn more would continue to use cars). In addition to the time and cost of the trip, the increase in the user’s income brings resistance to switching from car to bus, as described by [26
The time variable is shown as an important factor in the choice in several studies, as in [16
], indicating that the increase in travel time creates resistance to change. According to the “Travel time” variable, the longer the commute time for the car, the greater the tendency to switch to all other means of transport, which supports the idea of creating limits for the use of individual vehicles, thereby reducing its incentive.
All the improvements suggested by the scenarios were positively evaluated, reflecting the transport mode switch. That is, if the road offers accessible sidewalks, the user would switch to walking or taking a bus. Perhaps the bus was representative because the students related the accessible sidewalk as an incentive to walking to or from the bus stop to the destination. The availability of exclusive lanes encourages the switch from car to bicycle. Exclusive lanes can increase a cyclist’s sense of safety and confidence, especially those with little experience, as [41
The minimum infrastructure for the cyclist decreased the likelihood of switching between car and bicycle (i.e., offering support structures, such as appropriate bicycle racks, and changing rooms can encourage bicycle use). This result is consistent with that obtained by [6
If the bus offered less travel time than the car, a likelihood of switching to the bus would be observed. If the bus cost was lower than the current cost, the student would switch to going by bus, bicycle, or walking. The perception of the commute time by users is more sensitive to the bus and well evaluated as time is reduced and its reliability is increased [17
]. An increase in the cost and time of the car positively affected the switch to the bus [17
The “Bus cost” variable is positive for the switch from car to bus, bicycle, and walking if the public transport presents a lower cost than the current cost. This is consistent with the result obtained by [11
]. An increased bus cost usually discourages its use [11
]. Student responses may indicate dissatisfaction with the current service, opting for its use only if the cost is reduced.
The parking restriction did not influence the students at the time of the mode switch, although charging the parking lot would be an important measure for reducing the car mode attractiveness [21
]. Meanwhile, [20
] showed that the availability and cost of parking are not significant for switching modes.
These differences in the respondents’ perceptions can be generated by the wide availability of parking spots in most of the analyzed institutions. In this sense, the student could consider getting to class earlier to secure the few parking spots available or seek to park in the vicinity of the university. Parking restrictions should not be made as the only way to reduce the car mode attractiveness.
presents the OR for the significant variables to switch the transport mode, which indicates the trend for this switch.
Male students are approximately twice as likely to switch from car to bicycle. If the student lives with their family or a partner, the likelihood of switching from car to bus is 2 times higher. For working students, the probability of switching from car to bus is 1.5 times higher compared to that of those who are not working. For the bicycle, the probability is almost 2 times higher. A 5.6 times higher likelihood of switching to walking was also obtained.
With relevance to the increase in time for the car mode, the probability of switching exists, albeit small (i.e., less than 2% for all modes). This indicates that although time is an important variable, it may not be the main one. All institutions have a probability of switching to the bus mode in comparison with the reference located in the central area.
The scenario proposals stimulated the switch to all other transport modes. Offering accessible sidewalks would result in a 9 times greater chance of walking compared to low-quality sidewalks. Providing bike lanes would make switching from cars to bicycles 10 times more likely. If the time of commuting by bus is less than that when using a car, the likelihood of switching to the bus would be 2.5 times higher, while that for the lower cost would be 7 times higher.
Nevertheless, a more resistant group of 23 people (15%) who do not switch modes in any of the scenarios was identified. Furthermore, 56% chose to keep their cars in at least one of the scenarios. In half of the scenarios, the respondents remained with the car option. The bus was chosen in 32% of the scenarios (i.e., a switch from car to public transportation would be observed considering the hypothesis of improvements in buses).
presents the proportion of choices for each transport mode according to the scenario responses.
In part C of the questionnaire, questions were also asked on a Likert scale and on questions to mark. Analyzing these responses, it is observed that approximately 70% of the respondents use the car because of its comfort and 20% consider the public transport of the city inefficient. It is worth remembering that only respondents who use the car as a current option answered this part of the questionnaire. This information is consistent with the profile of the sample when it was found that 61 people did not know how to ride a bus. In other words, some students may not know the public transport system and still evaluate it in a negative way.
Among respondents, 65% agreed with the statement that the bus fare is cheap. This information may be mistaken, because if drivers do not know how to ride a bus, they may be out of date on the fare. They also disagree about the existence of bus stops near their origin and destination to wait for public transport.
It is evident that there is a deficiency in the perception of the quality of the public transport service. Some students who use cars do not know how to ride a bus but still consider it a bad way. Making some improvements to the system itself, it is possible to carry out campaigns to instruct and encourage the use of this mode of transport.
Other questions about environmental aspects, such as understanding the car to be an agent that contributes to pollution, concern about the pollution generated by vehicles, and the perception of congestion, indicated that most drivers are aware of the impact of the individual vehicle on society. However, 45% responded that the car is absolutely necessary in their routine and 55% like to drive.
Students also expressed a desire to cycle to college (49%) and stated the absence of cycle paths (67%) mentioned by [6
] as a barrier to using this mode. Concerning walking, 52% considered it dangerous to walk on their route.
According to the literature, cost and time are important factors for the user to make a decision. The results of the scenarios show that these variables are relevant for the Joinville student. To encourage the use of the bus, the ticket could reduce its value or justify the price charged by increasing the comfort or speed in commuting. Apparently, students who use the car do not see the price of the ticket as a worthwhile value for the quality of the bus service. The speed of the bus has reduced and this is a factor easily observable by the user. He prefers to stay in the jam in the comfort of his car rather than standing on the bus.
The variable “car situation” was not significant and therefore was not included in the model. This may have happened because students have always been able to park at the college free of charge and this may have generated a habit that prevented them from imagining the situation differently. Perhaps if at any time the college parking lot is partially blocked, the student will think about the influence of this variable.
Some working students said they would switch modes beyond the bus, including cycling and walking. Observing the improvements proposed by the scenarios, this behavior could be encouraged with the installation of changing rooms and cabinets to perform personal hygiene and store the user’s belongings, respectively. Assessing the different characteristics of users, to further encourage the use of these modes it would be interesting to see other factors that make men choose the bicycle more than women, such as public safety, for example.
Due to the ease of access to active modes, these modes of transport can be further explored so that their use increases. As they are modes that occupy less space on the roads, they can receive smaller but effective investments, such as adequate pavements, lighting and road signs.