Vehicle-type Choice and Neighbourhood Characteristics

An Empirical Study of Hamilton, Canada

Published In: Transportation Research Part D, v. 13, no. 3, 2008, p. 177-186

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Dimitris Potoglou

The popularity of light-duty trucks has increased with important implications for air quality, traffic accidents and gasoline demand. While previous studies have shed light on vehicle-type choice at the household level, little work has been done that examines the role of the built environment on these choices. This paper reports empirical findings on the relationship between vehicle-type choice and neighbourhood characteristics within the Census Metropolitan Area of Hamilton in Canada. The analysis incorporates proximity and urban form measures derived from high-resolution spatial data and geographic information systems technology. Estimates from discrete choice models of households' latest vehicle-type choice suggest that preferences for less fuel-efficient vehicles are marginally affected by the diversity of land-uses at the place of residence, after controlling for travel to work attitudes and socio-demographic characteristics of individuals and households.

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