Remembrance of Cars and Buses Past: How Prior Life Experiences Influence Travel

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, mode - bus, mode - car, planning - service quality, land use - impacts


transportation, neighborhood effects, mode choice, panel data


Does living in a neighborhood with high-quality public transit influence travel behavior later in life, even if you move to a neighborhood with worse transit service? To test this, we construct residential histories of individuals using decades of data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We find that past experiences shape transportation futures. Exposure to transit during young adulthood in particular is associated with an auto-light lifestyle and greater transit usage later in life. This research suggests a long-term benefit for encouraging transit at younger ages to foster a “transit habit.”


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