Which trip destination matters? Estimating the influence of the built environment on mode choice for home-based complex tours

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - impacts, ridership - mode choice, ridership - behaviour


Built environment, Mode choice, Trip destination, Complex tour


This study investigates how built environment (BE) characteristics at various trip destinations of a home-based tour shape travel mode choice. A complex home-based tour involves multiple out-of-home destinations, each of which may have distinct land-use patterns. Measuring the BE at various destinations of a complex tour has been an empirical challenge for the BE and travel behavior literature. Existing studies usually focus on the BE at the main destination of a tour, paying little attention to how BE attributes at other destinations of the tour shape travel behavior. This study addresses this issue by examining how and to what extent different measurements of the BE at destinations associated with a complex home-based tour influence the estimation of travel mode choice. We compare the measurement of the BE at three different trip destination categories: 1) the destination with the main activity (i.e., workplaces), which is the dominating approach applied in the existing literature, 2) the destination with the least compact BE, and 3) all destinations of a tour, with their BE variables being averaged. Our results reveal that BE characteristics at the destination with the least compact BE has the strongest explanatory power in estimating individuals' mode choice for home-based non-work tours. For home-based work tours, BE variables at the main destination have the highest impact on individuals' mode choice. In addition, travelers' mode choice for a tour, especially their use of public transit, is strongly influenced by the destination with the least compact BE.


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


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