Urban Form, Travel Time, and Cost Relationships with Tour Complexity and Mode Choice

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, ridership - mode choice, place - urban, mode - pedestrian


Walking, Vehicle compartment components, Urban travel, Urban areas, Trip chaining, Travel time, Travel costs, Transit use, Trade off analysis, Seattle (Washington), Mode choice, Modal choice, Land use, Journey time, Comparison studies, Choice of transportation, Choice models, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel, Alternatives analysis


In order to weigh the relative benefits and impacts of congestion mitigation and increased transit use and walking, a comparative framework must be developed to assess the relative impact of travel time and urban form changes. This study attempts to add detail on the specific land use changes necessary to address different types of travel, and to develop the necessary comparative framework. Relative associations between travel time, costs, and land use patterns where people live and work are investigated in relation to how they impact modal choice and trip chaining patterns in the Central Puget Sound (Seattle) region. A tour-based modeling framework and highly detailed land use and travel data are used. A discrete choice modeling framework adjusted for demographic factors assessed the relative effect of travel time, costs, and urban form on mode choice and trip chaining characteristics for three tour types. The tour based modeling approach increased the ability to understand the relative contribution of urban form, time, and costs in explaining mode choice and tour complexity for home and work related travel. The results show that urban form at residential and employment locations, and travel time and cost were significant predictors of travel choice. Travel time was the strongest predictor of mode choice while urban form the strongest predictor of the number of stops within a tour. Land use patterns where respondents work predicted mode choice for mid day and journey to work travel. Results indicate the consumers make tradeoffs between different travel options, and that the more attractive it is to drive, the less likely people will use other travel modes.