Residential relocation as a key event in commuting mode shift

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, ridership - attitudes, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, ridership - commuting, land use - impacts


Built environment, Travel behaviour, Residential self-selection, Mobility biographies, Longitudinal designs, Netherlands


Residential self-selection studies argue that pre-existing travel-related attitude overshadows the role of changes in residential built environment in (re)shaping travel behaviours. Our study contributes to this self-selection argument by including family- and job-related life events as another self-selection source, and accounting for the reverse causality from built environment to travel attitude as opposed to the attitude-induced self-selection. Using a two-wave sample of 1,038 Dutch residents before and after the relocation, we developed structural equation models to investigate longitudinal relationships between changes in residential built environment and job-housing distances, the occurrence of life events, and changes in commuting mode choices and preferences pre-post relocation. Results supported residential self-selection arising from pre-existing preferences for car and public transport commuting, while residents lowered the active commuting preference after moving to a more suburban neighbourhood. Life events concurrent with residential relocation, such as childbirth and job changes, also underlay greater demand for car use.


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


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