Exploring the relationship between the built environment, trip chain complexity, and auto mode choice, applying a large national data set
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives (TRIP). 2020, 5 (100134), . 10.1016/j.trip.2020.100134
In the completion of transport-based activities, some people save time by chaining trips with different purposes. Several studies have found that trip chaining encourages car use, while others find that features of the built environment can enable complex trip chains without the use of the car. Relatively few studies have presented analyses of trip chains and mode choice that also include built environment variables, although it is well established that urban density and urban structure influence on the transport mode distribution. In this paper we explore the relationship between the built environment, trip chaining, and auto mode choice in Norway. We apply national travel survey data, deriving commuting and non-commuting home-to-home trip chains, terming trip chains with more than two legs “complex”. We add built-environment measures, including the density of inhabitants plus employments, and their balance, the number of public parking lots and transit stops/stations, as well as the distance to the nearest urban centre. We run models splitting the travel survey data into two subsets, one more urban and the other more rural. We find that higher minimum density at destinations is consistently associated with lower odds of a complex trip chain and of auto mode choice. Longer distance from the residence to the nearest centre increases the odds of car use, and reduces the odds of a complex trip chain. The association with other built-environment characteristics depends on area type and whether it is commuting or not. A higher maximum distance from a destination to an urban centre increases the odds of a complex trip chain and auto mode choice in the more urban subset of the data, but in the more rural subset of the data such association is only found for commuting trip chains. The job-population balance in the home area shows negative association with auto mode choice; and in the more urban subset also a negative association with complex commuting trip chains. The more urban subset comprised municipalities with registered numbers of public parking lots; a higher minimum parking lot number at destinations in the trip chain was associated with lower odds of a complex trip chain, as well as higher odds of choosing the car as the main mode in non-commuting trip chains.