Examining the Effects of the Built Environment on Travel Mode Choice across Different Age Groups in Seoul using a Random Forest Method

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - impacts, mode - car, mode - subway/metro, place - asia, place - urban, ridership - mode choice, ridership - modelling, ridership - old people, ridership - young people


Age groups, Built environment, Mode choice, Predictive models


It is important to analyze factors that influence travel mode choice and to predict individual mode choice because this shapes people’s movement and determines their level of mobility. While there have been studies investigating how built-environment elements are associated with travel mode choice, most efforts have neglected evaluating the heterogeneity of effects that the built environment has on travel mode choice across different age groups. This study aims to examine the effects of the built environment in influencing travel mode choice across age groups in Seoul, South Korea, using a random forest approach. Our random forest model demonstrates what factors are important and how they are associated with the effects on travel mode choice. As a result, the built environment has a greater impact on the subway selection for older adults than other age groups and the random forest approach captures non-linear relationships between certain predictors and travel mode choices. Applying this approach to the travel mode choice analysis, we can examine the heterogeneous effects of the built environment on travel mode choice across different age groups.


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