The city as a driver of new mobility patterns, cycling and gender equality: Travel behaviour trends in Stockholm 1985–2015

Publisher's full text
Anne Bastian

This paper analyses changes in individual travel behaviour in Stockholm County over 30 years, using three large cross-sectional travel survey data sets. It shows that travel patterns have diverged over time between city, suburban and rural residents. The trends in travel behaviour that we find are consistent with changes in the labour market, ICT use, land-use and transport policy, gender equality, and population composition trends. The inner city has become increasingly attractive: the share of trips is to the inner city is increasing for all purposes, socio-economic groups, and residential locations. The reduction of car traffic in response to the introduction of the congestion charges in 2006 is more than compensated by an increase in bicycle and transit trips to the inner city. Travel times by car are increasing in the city, although the car traffic volumes have decreased. The travel behaviour gender gap has closed completely in the inner city, but not further out in the region or in the rest of the country. Understanding long term trends in travel behaviour in different population segments, and the context under which they occur, helps to understand how the conditions, opportunities and constraints for different population segments are changing, which is key for transport policy and land-use planning. Since the societal trends driving travel behaviour in Stockholm and Sweden are much the same in many cities and countries, the findings are of general relevance.

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