Travel Behavior of Largest Minority Cohorts in Texas

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

policy - environment, place - africa, place - urban


Urban areas, Travel behavior, Transit use, Texas, Socioeconomic factors, Socioeconomic aspects, National Household Travel Survey, Mobility, Minorities, Immigrants, Households, Hispanics, Ethnic groups, Environmental justice, Demographics, African Americans


Texas is changing dramatically; minority cohorts are expected to grow and become more than 65% of the Texas population before 2035. When considering issues of environmental justice, transportation professionals in Texas must seek to identify how these demographic changes will affect the transportation system. Gaining an understanding of this problem requires that the prevalent travel behavior and attitudes of minority populations be considered. The research presented in this paper investigates the prevailing travel behavior of the three largest minority cohorts in Texas: U.S.-born Hispanics, Hispanic immigrants, and African Americans. Considering environmental justice, this paper focuses on a study performed to identify the travel behaviors of the minority cohorts of Texas. The researchers used the National Household Travel Survey Add-On for Texas, because it allowed them to examine respondents by race–ethnicity and immigrant status. On the basis of the study’s results, it was found that U.S.-born Hispanics emulate Caucasian travel behavior most closely; however, U.S.-born Hispanics have higher nonwork-trip generation rates. Moreover, multivariate analysis indicated that Hispanic immigrants drive less than U.S.-born Hispanics, even after accounting for sociodemographics. The study also revealed that African Americans, Hispanic immigrants, and single adults with children produce most transit trips in urban Texas. This study further indicated that Hispanic immigrants—given their high household sizes, low income, and low vehicle availability—may be incurring mobility problems. The findings in this study indicate that Texas may be facing a transportation–cultural change because of the different travel characteristics of rapidly growing minority cohorts.