Public transport use

The ‘soft’ side of the story

Authored by: Veronique Van Acker , Sazkia Sandoval , Mario Cools

The Routledge Handbook of Public Transport

Print publication date:  May  2021
Online publication date:  May  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367418724
eBook ISBN: 9780367816698
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter focuses on the role of travel attitudes in explaining the demand for public transport. This chapter considers both the direct effect of attitudes on public transport use and, by means of a structural equation model, also illustrates the indirect effects via the interaction with residential location choices, vehicle ownership and activity behaviour. For example, a pro-sustainable travel attitude not only directly encourages public transport use but also explains why some people reside in an urban neighbourhood with good access to public transport. Why some people live in a particular neighbourhood refers to the process of residential self-selection. However, someone might change their travel attitudes having lived in an urban neighbourhood, and, as such, pro-sustainable travel attitudes may become more pronounced after some time. This process of changing travel attitudes because of residential experiences refers to residential determination. Both processes are equally important and are covered in this chapter. Finally, the chapter also discusses the interplay between values, attitudes and behaviour. This helps in understanding the heterogeneity in travel choices observed in real life.

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