Does commuting time tolerance impede sustainable urban mobility? Analysing the impacts on commuting behaviour as a result of workplace relocation to a mixed-use centre in Lisbon


David S. Vale

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, ridership - commuting, ridership - attitudes, policy - sustainable


Workplace relocation, Commuting, Sustainable urban form, Acceptable travel time, Commuting tolerance


Sustainable urban development policies promote the development of accessible mixed-use suburban centres. They are believed to reduce car dependency and stimulate sustainable mobility. We test this assumption through an analysis of workplace relocation to such a centre located in the inner suburbs of Lisbon, Portugal and examine its impact on commuting. We use primary data concerning previous and current commuting patterns, collected through a survey of employees working at the site. Binary and multinomial logistic models were developed to identify the explanatory variables of the observed impacts on commuting behaviour. Our findings showed a significant increase in commuting distance and the use of the car, and an insignificant change in commuting time. The relocation affected city centre residents most negatively. This demonstrates a strategy that aims to maintain commuting time within acceptable limits. Car use is greater when travel time increases and there is transportation mode inertia within the acceptable travel time. In this case, workplace relocation to a suburban mixeduse transit-oriented centre did not trigger the expected changes in mobility pattern, suggesting that the structure needs to be complemented by other travel demand measures to discourage workers from using their cars to commute.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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