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A Competitive, Charter Air-Service Planning Model for Student Athlete Travel

Publication: Transportation Research Part B: Methodological
Volume: 45 (1)
Pages: 128-149
Publication Date: 2011

This paper presents a model for planning an air charter service for pre-scheduled group travel. This model is used to investigate the competitiveness of such an enterprise for student athlete travel in conference sports. The relevant demand subset to be served by a limited charter fleet is identified through a comparison with existing scheduled travel options. Further, the routing and scheduling of the charter aircraft is performed within the same framework. Through this modeling a method for formulating and accommodating continuous time windows and competitive market dynamics in strategic planning for a charter service is developed. Computational improvements to the basic model are also presented and tested. The model is applied to the Big Sky Conference for the 2006–2007 season, quantifying the benefits to the students from such a service and the change in expenditure associated with such a benefit for various assumptions about operations and value of time. The findings indicate the lack of spatial or sport based patterns for maximizing benefit, indicating the absence of simplistic “rules of thumb” for operating such a service, and validating the need for the model.

Authors: Dr. Anne Goodchild, Gautam Gupta, and Mark Hansen
Recommended Citation:
Gautam Gupta, Anne Goodchild, and Mark Hansen (2011). A Competitive, Charter Air-Service Planning Model for Student Athlete Travel. Transportation Research Part B, 45, 128-149.

Analysis of Online Shopping and Shopping Travel Behaviors in West Seattle

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Publication Date: 2023

The purpose of this research is to explore consumers’ online shopping and in-person shopping travel behaviors and the factors affecting these behaviors within the geographical context of the study area of West Seattle.

West Seattle is a peninsula located southwest of downtown Seattle, Washington State. In March 2020, the West Seattle High Bridge, the main bridge connecting the peninsula to the rest of the city, was closed to traffic due to its increased rate of structural deterioration. The closure resulted in most of the traffic being re-distributed across other bridges, forcing many travelers to re-route their trips in and out of the peninsula. At about the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic caused business-shuttering lockdowns. Both events fundamentally changed the nature of shopping and the urban logistics system of the study area.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) engaged the Urban Freight Lab (UFL) at the University of Washington to conduct research to understand current freight movements and goods demands in West Seattle and identify challenges related to the bridge closure to inform data-driven mitigation strategies. The study took place in two phases: the first phase documented the challenges experienced by local businesses and carriers through a series of interviews and quantified the freight trip generated by land use in the case study area1 ; the second phase, described in the current report, performed an online survey to understand online shopping and in-person shopping travel behaviors for West Seattle residents.

The main objectives of the current study are twofold:

  • Describe online shopping and shopping travel consumer behaviors for West Seattle residents.
  • Understand what factors influence consumer shopping behaviors, from accessibility to local stores, to the characteristics of goods purchased, to socio-economic factors.


To address these objectives, the research team designed an online questionnaire that was advertised through a West Seattle Bridge Closure-related SDOT newsletter and other local online media outlets during the spring and summer of 2022. The questionnaire asked respondents about their socioeconomic conditions (age, income, education, etc.), where they live and their access to transportation (vehicle ownership and types of vehicles), their online shopping behavior, the impact of the West Seattle High Bridge closure on their shopping habits, and about their most recent purchase for a given category of goods among clothing items, groceries, restaurant food, and household supplies. The questionnaire was collected anonymously, and no personally identifiable information was collected. A total of 1,262 responses were collected, and after data processing, the final sample data consisted of 919 responses, corresponding approximately to 1 percent of the study area population.

Comparing the socioeconomic characteristics of the sample with those of the West Seattle study population it should be noted that individuals identifying themselves as white and female and of older age were oversampled, while individuals with lower than a college degree and with annual income less than $50,000 were under-sampled. Therefore, the sample in general is more representative of a more affluent, older population.

Key Findings

The key findings are summarized as follows:

Online shopping is widespread for clothing items and restaurant food.

Respondents receive on average 5 deliveries per week, across all goods categories. 38.7 percent of the respondents reported performing their most recent shopping activity online, considering all goods categories. However, the frequency of online shopping varied across different goods categories. Most of the respondents that purchased groceries or household supplies reported having shopped in person (89 and 75 percent of the respondents respectively), while, in contrast, for those that purchased restaurant food and clothing items, two-thirds of respondents reported buying online in both categories. Online shopping is widespread in the clothing and restaurant food markets, but less in grocery and household supplies markets. Of the consumers that shopped online for restaurant food, 76 percent of them decided to travel to take out (also referred to as curbside pickup), and only 24 percent of them chose to have the meal delivered directly to their home.

Online shopping is more widespread among mobility-impaired individuals

Participants were asked whether they had a disability that limited physical activities such as carrying, walking, lifting, etc. Of the 918 participants, 98 (11%) responded that they did have a disability that fit this description. The share of respondents that shop online was higher among mobility-impaired individuals (30 percent online for delivery and 19 percent online for pick-up) compared to individuals that did not report any mobility impairment (23 percent online for delivery and 12 percent online for pick-up).

Driving is the predominant shopping travel mode

Of the sample of respondents, 96 percent reported having access to a motorized vehicle within their household. Driving is also the most common shopping mode of in-person travel, with 81.3 percent of respondents reporting that they drove to a store to shop. Walking is a distant second preferred shopping travel mode, with 13.1 percent of respondents reporting having walked to a store. Biking and public transit were rarely adopted as a shopping travel mode, together they were observed 5.6 percent of the time. Though included as a travel option, only 1 participant reported using a rideshare vehicle to shop.

Electrification in West Seattle

Of the respondents that have access to a motorized vehicle in their households, 9.8 percent of them reported owning an electric vehicle. Car ownership is much more widespread than bike ownership, with 51.6 percent of the respondents reporting having access to a bike. Among these, 15.5 percent of them said that at least one of their bikes is electric.

The 10-minute city

The average walking time across all types of goods purchased was 10 minutes. The average driving time, for those respondents that reported driving to a store, was also about 10 minutes, except for those who reported purchasing clothing items, which reported on average of 27-minute trip time (both using a private car or using public transit). The longest travel times are seen mostly for respondents that took public transit as a shopping travel mode.

Living in proximity to stores reduces driving and online deliveries

A higher number of stores within a 10-minute walking distance (0.5 miles) is correlated with a higher number of consumers choosing to walk to a store, compared to those that chose to drive to a store or that shopped online. This is true across all goods types, but it is more significantly seen in grocery shopping. Moreover, accessibility to commercial establishments at a walking distance has a stronger impact on reducing the likelihood of driving, and at a lesser magnitude, reduces the propensity of shopping online.

Delivery to the doorstep is the most common destination for online deliveries

For those that chose to buy online, the most common delivery destination was at the respondents’ home doorstep (84 percent of respondents reported receiving online deliveries at home). The second most frequently used delivery destination was parcel lockers (15 percent of respondents), with 12 percent of respondents making use of private lockers, while only 3 percent made use of public lockers. The remaining one percent received deliveries at other destinations (e.g. office or nearby store).

The West Seattle High Bridge closure incentivized local shopping

When asked about the impacts of the West Seattle Bridge closure on individual online and shopping travel behaviors, more respondents reported buying more locally and online, vs. traveling farther for shopping and buying in person.

Recommended Citation:
Goodchild, A., Dalla Chiara, G., Verma, R., Rula, K. (2023) Analysis of Online Shopping and Shopping Travel Behaviors in West Seattle, Urban Freight Lab.

Analyzing the Shift in Travel Modes’ Market Shares with the Deployment of Autonomous Vehicle Technology

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Publication Date: 2020

It is generally accepted that automation as an emerging technology in transportation sector could have a potential huge effect on changing the way individuals travel. In this study, the impact of automation technology on the market share of current transportation modes has been examined. A stated preference (SP) survey was launched around the U.S. to ask 1500 commuters how they would choose their commute mode if they had the option to choose between their current mode and an autonomous mode. The survey included five transportation modes: car, transit, transit plus ride-sourcing for the first/last mile, solo ride-sourcing, and pooled ride-sourcing. Each of these modes could be presented as regular or autonomous in the choice scenarios. Then, a mixed logit model was developed using the collected data. Results from the analysis of the model showed that applying the automation in ride-sourcing services to decrease the fare, has the largest effect on the market share of transit ride-sourcing. Also, it was found that measures such as deploying more frequent services by ride-sourcing operators to minimize the waiting time of the services could lead to an increase in the market share of transit plus ride-sourcing but it might not improve the market share for solo and pooled ride-sourcing. Furthermore, it was concluded that if the ride-sourcing market share does not move toward the automation, the mode that will lose the market share is the transit plus ride-sourcing mode for which the market share will be decreased as a consequence of the high decrease in the cost of riding an autonomous private car.

Authors: Dr. Andisheh Ranjbari, Moein Khaloei, Don MacKenzie
Recommended Citation:
Khaloei, M., Ranjbari, A. and MacKenzie, D. (2020) Analyzing the Shift in Travel Modes’ Market Shares with the Deployment of Autonomous Vehicle Technology. Transportation
Technical Report

Analyzing the Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 Disruption on Travel Patterns

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Publication Date: 2020

The rapid spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. spurred many state governments to take extensive actions for social distancing and issue stay-at-home orders to reduce the spread of the virus. Washington State and all other States in the PacTrans region have issued stay-at-home orders that include school closures, telecommuting, bars/restaurants closures, and group gathering bans, among others. These actions create significant changes to daily life and while some travel patterns will gradually restore by the end of outbreak, some may remain changed for a much longer period.

Behaviors that may see a lasting response include commuting, grocery shopping, business meetings, and even social interactions. Working from home for 2-3 months may change people’s attitudes toward telecommuting, and some may continue to do so a few days a week once the stay-at-home orders are lifted. Some employers may also shift their telecommute policies and provide/encourage working from home. In recent years, with the growth of e-commerce, many grocery stores had started to offer home deliveries; however, online grocery shopping experienced a fast and sudden boom during the pandemic. This has resulted in quick service adoption, and therefore some people may continue to do online grocery shopping once things go back to normal. Moreover, as people shift to online grocery shopping, they may proactively make a list and place orders less frequently compared to them going to store, resulting in fewer shopping trips. Some business meetings and even personal gatherings may also move online as people learn about and try alternate ways of communicating during the outbreak. Some may also consider enrolling in distant learning programs instead of attending in-person educational programs. There may also be significant changes in modes of travel. Some transit commuters may choose other modes of transportation for a while, and people may choose to drive or bike instead of taking a ride-hailing trip.

The goal of this research is to understand how COVID-19 disruption has affected people’s activity and travel patterns during the pandemic, and how these changes may persist in a post-pandemic era.

Authors: Dr. Andisheh Ranjbari, Parastoo Jabbari, Don MacKenzie
Recommended Citation:
Mackenzie D., Jabbari P., Ranjbari A. Analyzing the Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 Disruption on Travel Patterns. Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans). 2020.

Understanding and Mitigating Freight-Related Impacts from the West Seattle Bridge Closure

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Publication Date: 2022

West Seattle (WS) is a part of the city of Seattle, Washington, but is located on a peninsula west of the Duwamish River. The West Seattle High-Rise Bridge serves as the primary connector between West Seattle and the rest of the city, carrying some 84,000 vehicles on average each day. On March 23, 2020, that high bridge was suddenly closed to all vehicle traffic for safety reasons due to greater-than-expected structural deterioration. The high bridge is now being repaired with a reopening planned for 2022. With the closure, vehicles have needed to take alternative routes to and from the peninsula, including the 1st Avenue South Bridge and the South Park Bridge, located some 2.1 and 3.4 miles south of the high bridge (see Figure 1). After the closure, the number of available vehicle traffic lanes across the river dropped from 21 to 12, with eight lanes on the 1st Avenue South Bridge and four on the South Park Bridge [2]. Before the closure, drivers also used the two-lane Spokane Street Low Bridge under the high bridge to access West Seattle. But after the closure, low bridge use was initially (as of March 2021) restricted from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm to authorized vehicles only, including emergency vehicles, public transit, and 10,000+ pound gross weight freight vehicles.

The unexpected high bridge closure disrupted passenger and freight mobility to and from WS, increasing travel times and creating bottlenecks on the remaining bridges. This has had negative impacts on the peninsula’s economy, as well as its livability. Concerns also persist regarding the environmental and health impacts of traffic detours into Duwamish Valley neighborhoods that are already disproportionately impacted by air pollution and asthma [4]. As traffic demand increases with the gradual recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the negative impacts could worsen. Notably, the timing of the high bridge closure coincided with the start of the pandemic and the resulting economic shutdowns and slowdowns that continue as of this writing. As such, it is difficult at times in this report to entirely disentangle the broader effects of the pandemic from the more specific effects of the bridge closure. This challenge surfaces especially in our interviews with study area businesses and with carriers performing deliveries and pick-ups in the study area: They report definite impacts, but it is not always clear how much of the impact stems from the bridge closure alone versus the bridge closure on top of the pandemic’s myriad ripple effects. That said, this study seeks to:

  • Document the impacts of the high bridge closure on freight flow, businesses, and carriers.
  • Understand current freight movements and quantify freight demand.
  • Identify mitigation strategies for freight flow to/from WS, both during the bridge closure and beyond.
Recommended Citation:
Urban Freight Lab (2022). Understanding and Mitigating Freight-Related Impacts from the West Seattle Bridge Closure.