The changing influences on commuting mode choice in urban England under Peak Car: A discrete choice modelling approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - car, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - pedestrian, mode - bike, ridership - mode choice, ridership - commuting, ridership - behaviour, ridership - attitudes, planning - surveys


Peak Car, Urban commuting, Mode choice, Discrete choice, Behavioural change


The phenomenon of Peak Car has been defined over the past eight years as a plateau or fall in the level of car use in urban areas. Although Peak Car research to date has relied on population-level data, such macro-level trends can be disaggregated into many individual travel decisions. This research uses English survey data collected by the Department for Transport (DfT) in 2009 to test a range of variables influencing choice of commuting mode in residents of urban England. The variables tested are subdivided into spatial, demographic, level of service, and attitudinal. Multinomial logistic regression is used to test these variables individually and then in combination, producing a multivariate discrete choice model of commuting mode choice. The choice between commuting modes is fourfold: car, bus, train, and active modes. The results suggest that the relationship between income and car use is changing, as higher incomes are found to be associated with increased odds of choosing to commute by train or active modes rather than the car when other factors are controlled for. Attitudes to buses and active modes are also found to be influential.


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


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