Studying Travel-Related Individual Assessments and Desires by Combining Hierarchically Structured Ordinal Variables

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - mode choice, ridership - demand


Travel models (Travel demand), Travel demand, Transportation modes, Modes, Mode choice, Modal choice, Mobility, France, Choice of transportation


This paper investigates the relationship between subjective mobility (SM) and relative desired mobility (RDM) and seeks to integrate these factors. A new method for combining ordinal variables is presented in cases when a hierarchical structure of the data can be presumed. This method is applied to study the subjective assessment of the amount of travel by different transportation modes among a group of French clerical workers, along with the desire to increase or decrease the use of such modes. Some advantages of this approach over traditional data reduction technique such as factor analysis when applied to ordinal data are then illustrated. Empirical evidence is found for a negative SM-RDM correlation overall, and the authors quantitatively reveal the existence of a latent demand for travel among a majority of respondents. Underestimating one's current travel can conversely be associated with a greater desire for more mobility. Combining this empirical evidence with theoretical considerations from previous research shows that people need to be made aware how much they already travel in order to lessen the desire for more traveling.