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Characteristics associated with willingness to walk further than necessary to the bus stop: Insights for public transport-related physical activity

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 03:29 authored by Oliver StanesbyOliver Stanesby, Morse, M, Magill, L, Ball, K, Christopher BlizzardChristopher Blizzard, Harpur, S, Kim JoseKim Jose, Lester, D, Marshall, E, Andrew PalmerAndrew Palmer, Melanie SharmanMelanie Sharman, J Williams, Verity ClelandVerity Cleland

Background and aims: There is untapped potential for public transport-related physical activity to make an important contribution to total physical activity and hence improve health. This study aimed to determine the willingness of public transport users to walk further than necessary to a stop, and the characteristics of those willing to do so.

Methods: This study used data from three waves (2016, 2017, 2018) of the Metro Tasmania Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS), an annual cross-sectional survey of bus passengers in Tasmania, Australia. Linear and logistic regression modelled associations between socio-demographic and transport behaviour characteristics with willingness to travel further to usual bus stop if frequency was improved (yes/no), and if willing, the extra distance (metres) prepared to travel. Analyses were restricted to those reporting walking to their bus stop (n = 1402).

Results: Half of 1402 bus passengers were prepared to walk further (average 521 m) to their usual bus stop if frequency was improved. A range of characteristics were positively (residential location) and negatively (age, female sex, retired/on pension, no regular motor vehicle access, intermittent public transport use, higher public transport-related physical activity) associated with willingness to walk further to the bus stop. Distance willing to walk varied by a range of demographic characteristics (sex, household income, age, employment status, bus use, public transport-related physical activity). Only age was consistently associated across all three surveys: younger bus passengers were more willing to walk further and recorded greater distances willing to walk.

Conclusions: The characteristics identified provide insights into which population groups may be more amenable to strategies to increase public transport-related physical activity, and which groups may require further investigation to identify reasons for lack of willingness to walk further to bus stops. Improving bus service frequency may increase public transport-related physical activity and confer health benefits.


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Journal of Transport and Health








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Elsevier BV

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