Do I walk or ride the rickshaw? Examining the factors affecting first- and last-mile trip options in the historic district of Manila (Philippines)

Alexis Fillone, Iderlina Mateo-Babiano


Historic urban centers (HUCs) such as the Ermita District in Manila display a compact, mixed, and human-scale urban form. Because of these features, people in these areas still depend on either walking or riding a pedicab (also known as cycle rickshaws) to reach their destinations. The latter mode, considered an informal non-motorized transport (NMT), is widely preferred by commuters as their first- and last-mile trip option to navigate the narrow street network of these historic districts. However, it is unclear what factors affect an individual’s first- and last-mile choices. Through a face-to-face intercept survey, respondents were asked about their relative preference between the two mode choices to capture the factors that influenced their decision to walk or to ride the pedicab within Ermita. By utilizing logit choice analysis, the study identified statistically significant mode-specific, as well as qualitative, variables that influenced individual decisions. The probability outcome showed that the most significant factors were access and/or egress time, cost over travel time, safety, and accessibility of the walking environment. It is also important to note that pedicab users had a longer average trip distance (about a kilometer) than walkers, and women, including those who were accompanied by children, preferred to use pedicabs. Results from this study can help district-level planning and policymaking in three ways: (1) by improving the physical environment through encouraging the use of NMT such as walking and pedicab riding as crucial first- and/or last-mile options for individuals in HUCs; (2) by aligning routes and regulations for pedicab services to be part of an overall transport service provision, and (3) by undertaking infrastructure improvements for safer walkway environments for pedestrians, considering the implications of walking and pedicab riding to individual, population-level health outcomes and overall quality of life.


Mode choice, Active travel, Informal transport, Walking, Rickshaw, Pedicab

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