Users of Transport Modes and Multimodal Travel Behavior: Steps Toward Understanding Travelers' Options and Choices

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - mass transit, ridership - commuting, ridership - drivers, ridership - mode choice


Travel behavior, Transportation options, Transportation modes, Transit users, Transit, Public transit, Multimodal transportation, Multimodal systems, Modes, Mode choice, Modal choice, Mass transit, Local transit, Germany, Commuting, Choice of transportation, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel, Automobile drivers


Results are presented from analysis of individual mode choice behavior in the longitudinal section in Germany. The findings show that about half of German drivers also use public transport. Because they use different modes, they can be characterized as multimodals. This group will constitute an increasing share of the public transport clientele in coming decades because the decline of captive public transport riders is foreseeable. Therefore it is necessary to understand multimodal behavior because in an environment where travelers have increasing options, it is important to know how they make use of their options. It was found that multimodals employ public transport for specific purposes, whereas the car is universal. Less than 20% of multimodals use public transport on a regular basis, for example, to commute. Most multimodals use it occasionally. Multimodals opt for public transport in specific situations because it is the better option and not because there is no car available. Although for families the car is often the better choice, single persons tend to be more multimodal. Commuting by public transport was found to be a gateway to the use of public transport for other purposes.