Would fewer people drive to work in a city without excess commuting? Explorations in the Paris metropolitan area

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, ridership - mode choice, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting, planning - environmental impact


Excess commuting, Daily mobility, Car use, Public transport, Modal shift, Paris


Urban planners have explored many solutions for reducing the energy and environmental costs of daily mobility in cities and one of them is to encourage households to embrace more efficient commuting patterns. As research on “excess commuting” has shown, the spatial distribution of housing and jobs in many cities would theoretically allow much shorter commuting distances than are actually observed. The question this paper tackles is how a more efficient commuting pattern would affect the transport modes workers use to travel to work. If workers and jobs were rematched in such a way as to minimise average commute distance, how would such a change impact the way people travel to work? While one might easily imagine an increase in the share of trips covered by soft modes of transport, there are reasons to believe that in some cases there might also be unexpected outcomes such an increase in car use. So how would people travel to work in a city where there is no “excess commuting”? We looked for an answer to this question through empirical simulations in the case of the Paris Metropolitan Area.


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


Transportation Research Part A Home Page: