In order to minimize car-based trips, transport planners have been particularly interested in understanding the factors that explain modal choices. Transport modelling literature has been increasingly aware that socioeconomic attributes and quantitative variables are not sufficient to characterize travelers and forecast their travel behavior. Recent studies have also recognized that users’ social interactions and land use patterns influence travel behavior, especially when changes to transport systems are introduced; but links between international and Spanish perspectives are rarely dealt with.
The overall objective of the thesis is to develop a stepped methodology that integrate diverse perspectives to evaluate the willingness to change patterns of urban mobility in Madrid, based on four steps: (1st) analysis of causal relationships between both objective and subjective personal variables, and travel behavior to capture pro-car and pro-public transport intentions; (2nd) exploring the potential influence of individual trip characteristics and social influence variables on transport mode choice; (3rd) identifying built environment dimensions on travel behavior; and (4th) exploring the potential influence on transport mode choice of extrinsic characteristics of individual trip using panel data, land use variables using spatial characteristics and social influence variables.
The data used for this thesis have been collected from a two panel smartphone-based survey (n=255 and 190 respondents, respectively) carried out in Madrid. Although the steps above are mainly methodological, the application to the area of Madrid allows deriving important results that can be directly used to forecast travel demand and to evaluate the benefits of specific policies that might be implemented in the area. The results demonstrated, respectively: (1st) transport policy actions are more likely to be effective when pro-car intention has been disrupted first; (2nd) the consideration of “helped” and “voluntary” users as tested here could have a positive and negative impact, respectively, on the use of public transport; (3rd) the importance of density, design, diversity and accessibility underlying dimensions responsible for land use variables; and (4th) there are clearly different types of combinations of social interactions, land use and time frame on travel behavior studies.
Finally, with the objective to study the impact of demand measures to change urban mobility behavior, those previous results have been considered in a unique way, a hybrid discrete choice model has been used on a 5th step. Then it can be concluded that urban mobility behavior is not only ruled by the maximum utility criterion, but also by a strong psychological-environment concept, developed without the mediation of cognitive processes during choice, i.e., many people using public transport on their way to work do not do it for utilitarian reasons, but because no other choice is available. Regarding built environment dimensions, the more diversity place of residence, the more difficult the use of public transport or walking.