Distance deterrence comparison in urban commute among different socioeconomic groups: A normalized linear piece-wise gravity model

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, ridership - commuting, ridership - behaviour, land use - impacts, land use - urban density, policy - equity


Urban, commute, equity


Understanding commuting behavior among socioeconomic groups is essential in promoting equity across the housing and transportation system. This field is well-studied, but existing research failed to reach a complete agreement on the relationship between socioeconomic groups and commuting distance. Our study establishes a framework to model distance deterrence impacts on various socio-economic groups of commuters by adapting a commonly used gravity model approach. We apply this framework to explore commuting distance on income groups in 12 major U.S cities, delineate how the deterrence impact increases with distance, and demonstrate a significant discrepancy in it between the low- and high-income groups. Results indicate that high-income commuters are less sensitive to increasing distance. And this inequity is more severe in cities that have higher population density and more clustered job locations. Our findings provide insights for equity analysis in public transit infrastructures and land use.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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