Presenter: Meagan Cusack, PhD Candidate of Social Welfare, School of Social Policy and Practice

Discussant: Erick Guerra, Associate Professor and Chair, Weitzman School of Design


Physical inactivity is a major public health concern. Though active transportation through bicycling and walking can increase physical activity and thereby positively affect health, factors that influence people’s decisions to commute using active transportation modes remain underexplored and fail to capture equity-related barriers. Increases in active transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic call for a better understanding of these influences. This study examines the commute mode choices of essential workers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to explore the extent to which active transportation to work is explained by individual, social, and environmental factors and whether active transportation choices reflect inequalities. Drawing on the theory of planned behavior and the social-ecological model, this study utilizes data from an online survey (N=213) completed between June and August 2020.