Shaping sustainable travel behaviour: Attitude, skills, and access all matter

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, policy - sustainable, technology - geographic information systems, ridership - attitudes, ridership - mode choice, ridership - behaviour, planning - surveys, planning - integration


Motility, Sustainable travel, Mode choice, Public transport, Cycling, Intermodality


Drawing on the conceptualisation of motility as the capacity to be mobile, this paper employs statistical and GIS-based analyses to explore the associations between travel mode choice and mobility-related attitudes, skills and opportunities to access transport modes. The study builds on survey data and spatial data from three urban contexts of Beijing, Gothenburg and Malmo to analyse both individual-level and contextual factors influencing sustainable travel behaviour. The results indicate that despite varying contexts, the three dimensions of attitude, skills and access significantly explain individuals’ travel behaviour and their choice to travel by public transport, bicycle or car. Among the studied travel modes, cycling appears to be a competitive mode when the travel distances are within 5 km. In all three urban contexts, individuals who have greater environmental awareness are more likely to travel by public transport or cycling if the physical conditions facilitate using these modes. Good access to public transport is likely to increase the usage of both cycling and public transport and reduce car use. Favourable conditions for cycling within 2 km and 5 km radius can positively encourage people to use a bicycle as a feeder mode for public transport. Overall, our findings demonstrate that for mobility policies to increase individuals’ motility in relation to sustainable travel modes and encourage a travel behaviour shift towards using alternatives to cars, planners need to take more holistic approaches and design policies that deal with the three motility dimensions in an integrated manner and avoid focusing on a single dimension in isolation.


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


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