Trends and determinants of multimodal travel in the USA.
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Trends and determinants of multimodal travel in the USA.

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    This report analyzes trends and determinants of multimodal individual travel—defined as the use of more than one mode of transportation during a given time period—in the U.S. The authors analyze U.S., South Atlantic Census Division, and Virginia samples using household, person, daily trip, and tour files from the 2001 and 2009 National Household Travel Surveys. The report focuses on multimodality during a week, but also highlights multimodal travel behavior during a travel day and a tour. The report primarily utilizes four modality groups to analyze multimodality at the tour, day, and week levels: (1) monomodal car users who drive for all trips; (2) multimodal car users who drive and also use at least one non-automobile mode; (3) monomodal green users who rely exclusively on one non-automobile mode (e.g. walking, cycling, or riding public transport); and (4) multimodal green users who combine different non-automobile modes. According to the analysis, over 70% of Americans walk, bike, or use public transport during the week. This includes two-thirds of drivers who additionally report walking, cycling, or riding public transportation during the week. The share of travelers who are monomodal drivers decreased between 2001 and 2009, while shares for monomodal and multimodal greens increased. Walking is the dominant green mode for most Americans. In addition, the intensity of multimodality seems to be increasing, as multimodal drivers are making more trips by green modes. A multivariable regression finds that multimodal drivers, monomodal greens, and multimodal greens are more likely than monomodal drivers to be male and younger, have higher education levels, own fewer cars, and live at higher population densities and in areas with rail access. Additionally, multimodal drivers are more likely white, while multimodal greens are more likely minorities. Individuals in households with children are less likely monomodal or multimodal greens than monomodal drivers. Individuals in the highest income quartile are more likely multimodal—as drivers or users of green modes—while individuals in the lowest income group are less likely multimodal drivers and more likely monomodal greens. Individuals with a driver’s license are less likely multimodal or monomodal greens. Increased understanding of multimodality helps identify target groups for policies aimed at increasing walking, cycling and public transport use across the U.S..
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