Latent lifestyle and mode choice decisions when travelling short distances

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - mode choice, ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions, place - europe, planning - service improvement, planning - service level, policy - sustainable


Lifestyle choices, Short distances, Mode choice, Latent class models, Car oriented, Bicycle oriented, Public transport oriented


In the quest for sustainable travel, short distances appear the most amenable to curbing the use of the automobile. Existing studies about short trips evaluate the potential of shifting from the automobile to sustainable travel options while considering the population as homogeneous in its preferences and its tendency to accept these alternative travel options as realistic. However, this assumption appears quite unrealistic and the current study offers a different perspective: the mode choices when travelling short distances are likely related to lifestyle decisions. Short trip chains of a representative sample of the Danish population in the Copenhagen Region were analysed, and more specifically a latent class choice model was estimated to uncover latent lifestyle groups and choice specific travel behaviour. Results show that four lifestyle groups are identified in the population: car oriented, bicycle oriented, public transport oriented and public transport averse. Each lifestyle group has specific perceptions of travel time (with extremely different rates of substitution between alternative travel modes), transfer penalties in public transport trip chains, weather influence (especially on active travel modes), and trip purpose effect on mode selection. Consequently, when thinking about measures to increase the appeal of sustainable travel options, decision-makers should look at specific individuals within the population and more sensitive individuals to comfort and level-of-service improvements across the lifestyle groups.


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