Effects of Land Use Characteristics on Residence and Employment Location and Travel Behavior of Urban Adult Workers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - signage/information, land use - planning, ridership - commuting, ridership - demand, technology - geographic information systems, place - urban, mode - mass transit


Workplaces, Urban form, Travel models (Travel demand), Travel demand, Travel behavior, Transit, Structural equation modeling, Socioeconomic factors, Socioeconomic aspects, Residential areas, Public transit, Passes (Transportation), Neighborhoods, Mass transit, Local transit, Life styles, Land use planning, Land use, GIS, Geographic information systems, Geocoding, Employment, Demographics


The relationships between socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, land use characteristics around the residence and work locations, and a variety of travel behavior indicators are examined by using a structural equations model. This simultaneous equations system allows one to model the effects of land use characteristics on travel behavior while controlling for self-selection bias: certain types of persons choose to live and work in areas that suit their lifestyles and resources. In the model, travel behavior choices are multidimensional; total time away from home, trips and trip distances by three types of modes, car ownership, and possession of a transit pass are included. Land use is captured in geographic information system–based measures of land use and transport supply variables centered on both home and work locations. These measures are reduced to eight land use factors. The analysis provides strong evidence in favor of using land use and urban form designs and planning both around residential neighborhoods and workplace areas. Results provide quantitative evidence of the extent to which workers living in denser, central, compact, and mixed zones make more intense use of transit and nonmotorized modes and tend to have lower car ownership levels. Workers in areas well served by freeways tend to make more intense use of their cars, although this does not inhibit use of transit. The results show that land use measures differ in their ability to explain different travel demands even when controlling for socioeconomic and demographic effects.