How is commute mode choice related to built environment in a high-density urban context?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, land use - urban density, land use - impacts, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting, ridership - mode choice, ridership - old people, ridership - young people, mode - car, mode - rail


travel behavior, built environment, density


Mainstream studies on the relationship between built environment and travel behavior have mostly concerned about relatively low-density urban contexts in North American and European countries. Using Hong Kong as such a case, this study addresses the unique challenges and problems associated with this topic in extremely dense urban settings. In addition to investigating how built environment features are related to the choices between public transport and cars, we also divide public transportation into three sub-modes to study the impacts of built environment. Furthermore, we test how these relationships differ between millennials and older generations. Results indicate that built environment characteristics are more influential in people's choices among different public transport sub-modes than in their choice between public transport and cars. Compared to older commuters, millennials' choices of rail-based and mixed-mode public transport are more susceptible to built environment attributes whereas their effects on road-based transit usage are stronger for older commuters. These investigations provide important insights into individuals' commute mode choices in highly dense, transit dominated urban contexts, and hence provide more reliable grounds for policymaking in these cities to encourage the usage of specific public transit sub-modes, as well as to meet the needs of different age groups.


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