Understanding repetitive travel mode choices in a stable context: A panel study approach

John Thorgersen


It is argued that most travel mode choices are repetitive and made in a stable context. As an example, the everyday use of public transport is analyzed based on a panel survey with a random sample of about 1300 Danish residents interviewed up to three times in the period 1998–2000. The use of public transport is traced back to attitudes towards doing so, beliefs about whether or not public transportation can cover one’s transport needs, and car ownership. The influence of these variables is greatly attenuated when past behavior is accounted for, however. For subjects without a car, behavior changes are in the direction of greater consistency with current attitudes and perceptions. For car owners, current attitudes are inconsequential. The temporal stability of transport behavior is also higher for car-owners than for non-owners.