Conceptual model to explain turning points in travel behavior: application to bicycle Use

Kiron Chatterjee, Henrietta Sherwin, Juliet Jain, Jo. Christensen, Steven Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (SciVal)


Existing knowledge on cycling behavior, as with travel behavior in general, is based mainly on cross-sectional studies. It is questionable how much can be learned about the reasons for behavioral change from such studies. A major investment program to promote cycling in 12 English cities and towns between 2008 and 2011 provided the opportunity to study the bicycle use of residents and how that use was affected by the investment. Face-to-face interviews collected biographical information on travel behavior and life-change events during the investment period for 144 research participants and probed the reasons for changes in bicycle use. Theory (from the life course perspective) and preliminary analysis of the interview data were used to develop a conceptual model that hypothesized that turning points in travel behavior were triggered by contextual change (a life-change event or change in the external environment) and mediated by intrinsic motivations, facilitating conditions, and personal history. The model provided an effective means of explaining turning points in bicycle use. The analysis of the interview data showed how the nature of behavioral influences (in particular, life-change events and intrinsic motivations) varied over the life course. The research highlights the advantages of viewing travel behavior change in the context of people's evolving lives and how that approach can help in developing transport policies and practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-90
JournalTransportation Research Record
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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