Linking residential mobility with daily mobility

A three-wave cross-lagged panel analysis of travel mode choices and preferences pre–post residential relocation in the Netherlands

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The causal impact of the built environment on travel behaviours is a subject of debate. This debate especially concerns the independent effect of the built environment on the observed travel patterns after taking into account residential self-selection arising from pre-existing travel-related attitude. This study argues that travel attitude varies over time, and thus, is also reshaped by residential built environment and interrelated with residents? travel behaviours. Focusing on the event of residential relocation in the Netherlands, this study longitudinally investigated the interrelations between travel mode choices and preferences before, immediately after and a year after the relocation. Results from the random-intercept cross-lagged panel models substantiated the residential self-selection based on the pre-relocation preferences for motorised means of transport, including cars and public transport. Moreover, travel mode preferences varied to a greater extent than travel mode use pre?post relocation, and especially, frequent use of public transport or bicycles stimulated by the new place of residence had a one-year lagged effect on developing the mode preference. Therefore, the structural role of residential built environment manifests as (re)shaping travel mode choices as well as mode-specific preferences in the process of residential relocation.