The role of habit and the built environment in the willingness to commute by bicycle


The role of habit and the built environment in the willingness to commute by bicycle
AuthorMargareth Gutiérrez, Ricardo Hurtubia, Juan de Dios Ortúzar
Line(s)Built Environment
Year of Publication2020
Journal TitleTravel Behaviour and Society
Habit, Attitudes, Perceptions, Bicycle, Latent variables, Discrete choice, Mode change

We study the willingness of citizens to change from their habitual mode of transport to cycling, in the case of routine trips to work or study during the morning peak in Santiago, Chile. For this, we designed a relatively complex survey, including information about the current mode, preferences of respondents, indicators of perception, habits, and a question about their willingness to change mode. We used a sample of 805 individuals to estimate a hybrid ordinal logit model. This model included individuals’ socio-demographic variables, characteristics of the built environment, and the trip, as well as three latent constructs: spontaneity towards changing mode of transport; perception of risk regarding bicycle use; and availability of cycling-related facilities when using bicycles. The model confirms previous expectations; for example, the willingness to change to cycling diminishes with the length of the trip and with the age of the individual; also, people more habituated to their current mode are less willing to change it. In terms of public policy, the model provides several insights regarding incentives for using bicycles, including the need for structural changes to diminish the latent perception of insecurity held by less experienced cyclists.

Corresponding AuthorRicardo Hurtubia, Margareth Gutiérrez