Climate change mitigation is one of the challenges that many cities are currently facing. The transport sector is responsible of an important amount of the total CO2 emissions globally. The sustainable mobility appears as part of the challenge in the reduction of green house gas emissions, however this also represents opportunities to improve cities. Bicycle as a mode of transport has recently caught the attention of research and public policies as an important part of the sustainable mobility paradigm. During the last four decades there has been a considerable amount of literature studying travel behavior and its relation with the built environment, although there are no consistent agreements in the effects of this relation. Within travel behavior research, little is focused on bicycle for commuting purposes. More recently it has been acknowledged the importance of ‘soft’ factors such as demographic and physiological, in determining travel behavior. The inclusion of this dimension may fill in the gaps that the previous studies of travel behavior have not been able to explain. In this research, the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ dimensions were included with the aim to explain the extent that these factors may determine the use of bicycle for commuting to work. Since commuting to work has also been acknowledged as relevant in urban mobility systems, our scope is limited to this purpose. The ‘soft’ dimension in this study includes demographic characteristics and subjective individual attributes, these last taken from the social-cognitive studies. The research methodology included qualitative and quantitative data. An online survey and face-to-face interviews were conducted in those institutions among employees of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, and The Erasmus Medical Center, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The results showed that subjective individual attributes played an important role to determine the choice to commute by bicycle. In the case of the frequency in the use of bicycling, few subjective attributes showed to be significant. The overall results suggested that the significance in ethnic background and commuting by bicycle might be due to the subjective individual attributes ‘behind’ these demographic aspects. The residential environment characteristics were significant to determine bicycle use mostly in long distances. The findings of residential environment might be understood as a complement of the soft dimension that showed to be significant for short and middle distances.

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Sharma, S.
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Torres, J.R.V. (2014, September). Determinants for commuting to work by bicycle. Retrieved from