An exploration of the relationship between mode choice and complexity of trip chaining patterns

Xin Ye, Ram M. Pendyala, Giovanni Gottardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


This paper investigates the relationship between mode choice and the complexity of trip chaining patterns. An understanding of the causality between these two choice behaviors may aid in the development of tour-based travel demand modeling systems that attempt to incorporate models of trip chaining and mode choice. The relationship between these two aspects of travel behavior is represented in this paper by considering three different causal structures: one structure in which the trip chaining pattern is determined first and influences mode choice, another structure in which mode choice is determined first and influences the complexity of the trip chaining pattern, and a third structure in which neither is predetermined but both are determined simultaneously. The first two structures are estimated within a recursive bivariate probit modeling framework that accommodates error covariance. The simultaneous logit model is estimated for the third structure that allows a bidirectional simultaneous causality. The analysis and model estimation are performed separately for work tour and non-work tour samples drawn from the 2000 Swiss Microcensus travel survey. Model estimation results show that the causal structure in which trip chain complexity precedes mode choice performs best for both work and non-work tour samples. The structure in which mode choice precedes trip chaining pattern choice was found to give significantly inferior goodness-of-fit measures. These findings have important implications for the development of activity-based and tour-based modeling systems and for the design and planning of public transport systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-113
Number of pages18
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Causal relationships
  • Econometric modeling
  • Mode choice
  • Simultaneous equations
  • Tours
  • Travel behavior
  • Trip chains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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