Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #711

Travel Mode and Tour Complexity: The Roles of Fuel Price and Built Environment

by Michael Simora and Colin Vance

RWI, 10/2017, 28 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-830-1 DOI: 10.4419/86788830



Despite steady increases in fuel economy, CO2 emissions from road transportation in Germany are on the rise, increasing by nearly 4% since 2009. This study analyzes the impact of different policy levers for bucking this trend, focusing specifically on the role of fuel prices and features of the built environment. We estimate two multinomial logit models, one addressing work-related tours and the other non-work related tours. Both models consider two interrelated dimensions of travel on the extensive margin: mode choice and tour complexity. We use the model estimates to predict outcome probabilities for different levels of our policy variables. Our results suggest significant effects of the built environment – measured by bike path density, urbanization, and proximity to public transit – in discouraging car use and increasing tour complexity. Fuel prices, by contrast, appear to have little bearing on these choices.

JEL-Classification: D10, R48, R42

Keywords: Activity-based approach; travel mode choice; tour complexity; multinomial logit; predicted probabilities