IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Travel mode and tour complexity: The roles of fuel price and built environment


  • Simora, Michael
  • Vance, Colin


Despite steady increases in fuel economy, CO2 emissions from road transportation in Germany are on the rise, increasing by nearly 4% since 2009. This study analyzes the impact of different policy levers for bucking this trend, focusing specifically on the role of fuel prices and features of the built environment. We estimate two multinomial logit models, one addressing work-related tours and the other non-work related tours. Both models consider two interrelated dimensions of travel on the extensive margin: mode choice and tour complexity. We use the model estimates to predict outcome probabilities for different levels of our policy variables. Our results suggest significant effects of the built environment – measured by bike path density, urbanization, and proximity to public transit – in discouraging car use and increasing tour complexity. Fuel prices, by contrast, appear to have little bearing on these choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Simora, Michael & Vance, Colin, 2017. "Travel mode and tour complexity: The roles of fuel price and built environment," Ruhr Economic Papers 711, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:711

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Keller, Rose & Vance, Colin, 2013. "Landscape pattern and car use: Linking household data with satellite imagery," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 250-257.
    2. Kingham, S. & Dickinson, J. & Copsey, S, 2001. "Travelling to work: will people move out of their cars," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 151-160, April.
    3. Tomz, Michael & Wittenberg, Jason & King, Gary, 2003. "Clarify: Software for Interpreting and Presenting Statistical Results," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 8(i01).
    4. Kuhnimhof, Tobias & Buehler, Ralph & Wirtz, Matthias & Kalinowska, Dominika, 2012. "Travel trends among young adults in Germany: increasing multimodality and declining car use for men," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 443-450.
    5. Jensen, Mette, 1999. "Passion and heart in transport -- a sociological analysis on transport behaviour," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 19-33, January.
    6. Kenneth A. Small & Kurt van Dender, 2007. "Long Run Trends in Transport Demand, Fuel Price Elasticities and Implications of the Oil Outlook for Transport Policy," OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers 2007/16, OECD Publishing.
    7. Kenneth Gillingham & David Rapson & Gernot Wagner, 2016. "The Rebound Effect and Energy Efficiency Policy," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(1), pages 68-88.
    8. David Hensher & April Reyes, 2000. "Trip chaining as a barrier to the propensity to use public transport," Transportation, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 341-361, December.
    9. André De Palma & Denis Rochat, 1999. "Understanding individual travel decisions: results from a commuters survey in Geneva," Transportation, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 263-281, August.
    10. Naess, Petter, 2014. "Tempest in a teapot: The exaggerated problem of transport-related residential self-selection as a source of error in empirical studies," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 7(3), pages 57-79.
    11. Ye Feng & Don Fullerton & Li Gan, 2013. "Vehicle choices, miles driven, and pollution policies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 4-29, August.
    12. J. Scott Long & Jeremy Freese, 2006. "Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables using Stata, 2nd Edition," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 2, number long2, Fall.
    13. De Borger, Bruno & Mulalic, Ismir & Rouwendal, Jan, 2016. "Measuring the rebound effect with micro data: A first difference approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 1-17.
    14. Manuel Frondel & Colin Vance, 2014. "More Pain at the Diesel Pump? An Econometric Comparison of Diesel and Petrol Price Elasticities," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 48(3), pages 449-463, September.
    15. Krygsman, Stephan & Arentze, Theo & Timmermans, Harry, 2007. "Capturing tour mode and activity choice interdependencies: A co-evolutionary logit modelling approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 913-933, December.
    16. Joachim Scheiner & Christian Holz-Rau, 2017. "Women’s complex daily lives: a gendered look at trip chaining and activity pattern entropy in Germany," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 117-138, January.
    17. Lawrence Frank & Mark Bradley & Sarah Kavage & James Chapman & T. Lawton, 2008. "Urban form, travel time, and cost relationships with tour complexity and mode choice," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 37-54, January.
    18. Manuel Frondel & Colin Vance, 2009. "Do High Oil Prices Matter? Evidence on the Mobility Behavior of German Households," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(1), pages 81-94, May.
    19. Bhat, Chandra R. & Sen, Sudeshna & Eluru, Naveen, 2009. "The impact of demographics, built environment attributes, vehicle characteristics, and gasoline prices on household vehicle holdings and use," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-18, January.
    20. Bhat, Chandra R., 1997. "Work travel mode choice and number of non-work commute stops," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 41-54, February.
    21. Ritter, Nolan & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Vance, Colin, 2016. "Short-run fuel price responses: At the pump and on the road," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 67-76.
    22. Taylor, Michael A. P. & Ampt, Elizabeth S., 2003. "Travelling smarter down under: policies for voluntary travel behaviour change in Australia," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 165-177, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Amoh-Gyimah, Richard & Aidoo, Eric Nimako, 2013. "Mode of transport to work by government employees in the Kumasi metropolis, Ghana," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 35-43.
    2. Dimitropoulos, Alexandros & Oueslati, Walid & Sintek, Christina, 2018. "The rebound effect in road transport: A meta-analysis of empirical studies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 163-179.
    3. Wang, Rui, 2015. "The stops made by commuters: evidence from the 2009 US National Household Travel Survey," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 109-118.
    4. Toşa, Cristian & Sato, Hitomi & Morikawa, Takayuki & Miwa, Tomio, 2018. "Commuting behavior in emerging urban areas: Findings of a revealed-preferences and stated-intentions survey in Cluj-Napoca, Romania," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 78-93.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0385 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Joachim Scheiner & Christian Holz-Rau, 2017. "Women’s complex daily lives: a gendered look at trip chaining and activity pattern entropy in Germany," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 117-138, January.
    7. Michael Duncan, 2016. "How much can trip chaining reduce VMT? A simplified method," Transportation, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 643-659, July.
    8. Ivan Tilov & Sylvain Weber, 2020. "Heterogeneity in price elasticity of vehicle kilometers traveled: Evidence from micro-level panel data," IRENE Working Papers 20-12, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    9. Ritter, Nolan & Vance, Colin, 2013. "Do fewer people mean fewer cars? Population decline and car ownership in Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 74-85.
    10. Veronique Acker & Frank Witlox, 2011. "Commuting trips within tours: how is commuting related to land use?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 465-486, May.
    11. Li, Zhibin & Wang, Wei & Yang, Chen & Jiang, Guojun, 2013. "Exploring the causal relationship between bicycle choice and trip chain pattern," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 170-177.
    12. Florian Schneider & Danique Ton & Lara-Britt Zomer & Winnie Daamen & Dorine Duives & Sascha Hoogendoorn-Lanser & Serge Hoogendoorn, 2021. "Trip chain complexity: a comparison among latent classes of daily mobility patterns," Transportation, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 953-975, April.
    13. Tufayel Chowdhury & Darren M. Scott, 2020. "Role of the built environment on trip-chaining behavior: an investigation of workers and non-workers in Halifax, Nova Scotia," Transportation, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 737-761, April.
    14. Steven R. Gehrke & Timothy F. Welch, 2017. "The built environment determinants of activity participation and walking near the workplace," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(5), pages 941-956, September.
    15. Sottile, Eleonora & Tuveri, Giovanni & Piras, Francesco & Meloni, Italo, 2022. "Modelling commuting tours versus non-commuting tours for university students. A panel data analysis from different contexts," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 56-67.
    16. Nolan Ritter & Colin Vance, 2012. "Do Fewer People Mean Fewer Cars? – Population Decline and Car Ownership in Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0385, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    17. Vandenbulcke, Grégory & Dujardin, Claire & Thomas, Isabelle & Geus, Bas de & Degraeuwe, Bart & Meeusen, Romain & Panis, Luc Int, 2011. "Cycle commuting in Belgium: Spatial determinants and 're-cycling' strategies," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 118-137, February.
    18. Subbarao, S.S.V. & Krishna Rao, K,V., 2013. "Trip Chaining Behavior in Developing Countries: A Study of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India," European Transport \ Trasporti Europei, ISTIEE, Institute for the Study of Transport within the European Economic Integration, issue 53, pages 1-7.
    19. Selima Sultana & Hyojin Kim & Nastaran Pourebrahim & Firoozeh Karimi, 2018. "Geographical Assessment of Low-Carbon Transportation Modes: A Case Study from a Commuter University," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(8), pages 1-23, August.
    20. Zidan Mao & Dick Ettema & Martin Dijst, 2018. "Analysis of travel time and mode choice shift for non-work stops in commuting: case study of Beijing, China," Transportation, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 751-766, May.
    21. Rith, Monorom & Fillone, Alexis M. & Biona, Jose Bienvenido Manuel M., 2020. "Energy and environmental benefits and policy implications for private passenger vehicles in an emerging metropolis of Southeast Asia – A case study of Metro Manila," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 275(C).

    More about this item


    activity-based approach; travel mode choice; tour complexity; multinomial logit; predicted probabilities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:711. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.