The Journey to Work: an Analysis of Mode Choice Based on Panel Data



The Journey to Work: an Analysis of Mode Choice Based on Panel Data

Authors

J Dargay, University of Oxford, UK

Description

This paper analyses the factors determining choice of commuting mode on the basis of dynamic models and panel data obtained from the British Household Panel Survey.

Abstract

Although there is a wide literature on mode choice for the journey to work, the majority of studies are based on differences in commuting patterns among individuals with different characteristics and transport alternatives at a given point in time. Because of the static nature of the data, and hence the models employed, such analyses, at best, only explain differences in the commuting patterns of individuals at a given point in time. As has been demonstrated in a number of empirical studies, differences in behaviour between different individuals at a given point in time is not equivalent to changes in the behaviour of the individuals over time. In order to forecast future demand or the response to policy measures, we need to know how the behaviour of individuals changes. The time dimension is thus an essential one, which must be expressed in the data as well as in the models employed

This paper analyses the factors determining choice of commuting mode in Great Britain. The study is based on observations of individuals over a period of up to eleven years obtained from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). Dynamic panel?data models are estimated, which allow for state dependence as well as heterogeneity amongst individuals. The influence of socio-economic factors such as income, transport prices, gender and household characteristics is estimated as well as the effects of demographic factors describing residential location. In addition, the impacts of changing job and residential location on commuting mode are examined, as is the decision whether or not to use the car for commuting for households with cars. Finally, differences in commuting behaviour between women and men are investigated.

This paper builds on previous work on commuting based on the BHPS. Dargay and Hanly (A panel data exploration of travel to work, ETC 2003) examined changes in commuting mode and time on the individual level and attempted to explain these changes in terms of changes in workplace, moving house and changes in the individual?s and household?s circumstances. Dargay and Hanly (Volatility of car ownership, commuting mode and time in the UK, WCTR 2004) develop and estimate dynamic mode-choice and car-ownership models. The current study extends these models to examine the effects of moving house and changing job on mode choice, the decision to use or not use the household car for commuting, and the differences in commuting behaviour between women and men. Alternative estimation techniques and methods for dealing with attrition are also considered.

Publisher

Association for European Transport