, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 37–54

Urban form, travel time, and cost relationships with tour complexity and mode choice

  • Lawrence Frank
  • Mark Bradley
  • Sarah Kavage
  • James Chapman
  • T. Keith Lawton

DOI: 10.1007/s11116-007-9136-6

Cite this article as:
Frank, L., Bradley, M., Kavage, S. et al. Transportation (2008) 35: 37. doi:10.1007/s11116-007-9136-6


The primary purpose of this study was to investigate how relative associations between travel time, costs, and land use patterns where people live and work impact modal choice and trip chaining patterns in the Central Puget Sound (Seattle) region. By using a tour-based modeling framework and highly detailed land use and travel data, this study attempts to add detail on the specific land use changes necessary to address different types of travel, and to develop a comparative framework by which the relative impact of travel time and urban form changes can be assessed. A discrete choice modeling framework adjusted for demographic factors and assessed the relative effect of travel time, costs, and urban form on mode choice and trip chaining characteristics for the three tour types. The tour based modeling approach increased the ability to understand the relative contribution of urban form, time, and costs in explaining mode choice and tour complexity for home and work related travel. Urban form at residential and employment locations, and travel time and cost were significant predictors of travel choice. Travel time was the strongest predictor of mode choice while urban form the strongest predictor of the number of stops within a tour. Results show that reductions in highway travel time are associated with less transit use and walking. Land use patterns where respondents work predicted mode choice for mid day and journey to work travel.


Urban formTravel timeMode choice



Body mass index


Floor area ratio


Home-based non-work/other


Home-based work


King county land use, transportation, air quality, and health study


Puget sound transportation panel


Puget sound regional council


Traffic analysis zone


Work-based other

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Frank
    • 1
  • Mark Bradley
    • 2
  • Sarah Kavage
    • 3
  • James Chapman
    • 3
  • T. Keith Lawton
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Community and Regional PlanningUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverUSA
  2. 2.Mark Bradley Research and ConsultingSanta BarbaraUSA
  3. 3.Lawrence Frank and Company, Inc.Point RobertsUSA
  4. 4.Keith Lawton ConsultingNewbergUSA