Modeling the structural relationships among short-distance travel amounts, perceptions, affections, and desires

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - perceptions, mode - mass transit


Trip length, Travel distance, Travel desire, Travel behavior, Transit, Structural equation modeling, Relationships, Public transit, Perception, Mass transit, Local transit, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel, Affections


Using structural equation modeling, the relationships among travel amounts, perceptions, affections, and desires across five short-distance (one-way trips of less than 100 miles) travel categories (overall, commute, work/school-related, entertainment/social/recreation, and personal vehicle) are examined. The models are estimated using data collected in 1998 from more than 1,300 working commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area. A cross-model analysis reveals three robust relationships, namely: (1) myriad measures of travel amounts work together to affect perceptions; (2) perceptions are consistently important in shaping desires; and (3) affections have a positive relationship with desires. The second finding suggests that two individuals who travel the same objective amount may not have the same desire to reduce their travel: how much individuals perceive their travel to be is important. The third point argues that the degree to which travel is enjoyed is a key determinant of shaping desires to reduce travel: the more travel is enjoyed, the less the desire to reduce it.


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