Intermodal Urban Travel Behaviour from User's Perspective: Empirical Results

Intermodal Urban Travel Behaviour from User's Perspective: Empirical Results


Rebekka Oostendorp, German Aerospace Center, Institute of Transport Research, Laura Gebhardt, German Aerospace Center, Institute of Transport Research


The contribution presents empirical findings on intermodal urban travel behaviour in an urban context. It will focus on the user’s perspective and spatial differences between different types of neighbourhoods.


Cities are growing as well as their population’s demand for mobility. The compact and mixed land-use structure in cities is associated with a dense public transport network and good accessibility on foot or by bike. Thereby, cities provide the preconditions for the use of environmentally friendly transport modes. Besides, the variety of mobility options in cities enables a flexible travel behaviour where people rather use and combine several transport modes instead of committing themselves to one single mode of transport. In this context, intermodal urban travel behaviour is discussed as an alternative to unimodal car use and hence, as a key to a more sustainable transport system in cities. The combination of different modes of transport on a trip allows people to fit their everyday urban mobility according to their specific travel needs in different situations.
To better understand in which situations and why people combine different transport modes, it is essential to gain more information about intermodal users and the specific factors that influence their travel behaviour. While common travel surveys provide some information on intermodality (like share of intermodal trips on a certain reference date, used transport modes and trip purposes), additional findings on user’s demands on combining different modes of transport are missing. The on-going institutionally-funded project „Urban Mobility“ (2015-2018) addresses this gap and analyses intermodal travel behaviour in cities from a user’s perspective. The empirical basis of this project is a survey conducted in Berlin (Germany) in 2016 (n = 1,098), where, besides intermodal travel behaviour, reasons for using intermodal combinations as well as the evaluation of interchanges are explicitly addressed.
Against this background, the contribution will discuss primary questionnaire data on intermodal travel behaviour with special focus on the user’s perspective and spatial differences between different types of neighbourhoods. It will address the following questions: Which intermodal combinations are relevant in an urban context? How can intermodal users and their travel behaviour be characterised? Which role does the place of residence play for being intermodal? Which demands do users have in an urban context, e.g. concerning interchanges? Answers to these questions can give hints for a user-oriented planning concerning the improvement of transport services and infrastructure.
The results of the project suggest that a high number of persons combine different means of transport in their everyday life in Berlin (e.g. bike and public transport, car and public transport), with public transport being the basis for all relevant combinations. Intermodal combinations are particularly used on trips to work or leisure activities. In addition, spatial differences in the use of intermodal combinations can be identified. Furthermore, user’s reasons for taking intermodal combinations (e.g. travel time, reaching public transport) as well as their evaluation of interchange attributes will be analysed. Based on the analyses, conclusions will be drawn on how planning can contribute to a more sustainable transport in cities by improving conditions for intermodal travel behaviour, e.g. improvements at interchanges for specific user groups.


Association for European Transport