Structural changes in commuters' daily travel: The case of auto and transit commuters in the Osaka metropolitan area of Japan, 1980-2000

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting, mode - subway/metro


Travel patterns, Transit riders, Structural equation modeling, Osaka (Japan), Networks, Commuters, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel


Structural changes over time in commuters' travel patterns are examined by formulating and estimating simultaneous equations model systems of activity engagement and travel. Results of large-scale household travel surveys conducted in the Osaka metropolitan area of Japan in 1980, 1990 and 2000 are used with matching demographic, land use, and network data. Statistical examinations of the model systems indicate that the structural relationships underlying travel behavior have not been stable over the 20 years. Overall, expanding tendencies in out-of-home activity engagement and travel are exhibited by both auto and transit commuters, but in different ways. The study results challenge the conventional wisdom that auto travelers tend to chain trips; transit commuters make more stops and chain trips more often than do auto commuters in the Osaka area, suggesting that travel patterns are heavily influenced by transportation networks and land use developments.


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