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Journal Article


Mitra R, Nash S. Int. J. Sustain. Transp. 2019; 13(2): 138-147.


(Copyright © 2019, Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)






The benefits of cycling as a healthier and more sustainable transportation alternative to private automobile is emphasized in both literature and policy. One key policy challenge in improving cycling rates is the significant gender gap in cycling that exists across urban regions in North America. In this study, travel behavior of >10,000 students attending four universities in Toronto, Canada, was analyzed to explore gender-based differences in cycling uptake. The mode share for cycling was higher for non-commute trips (9%) when compared to commuting trips to universities (7.6%). In addition, men had higher cycling rates than women, for both commute and non-commute trips.

RESULTS from binomial logistic regression models indicate that the built environment-related correlates were different between male and female students, and between commute and non-commute trips. Access to bicycle lanes or cycle tracks was found to increase the odds of female commuter cycling. This effect, however, was moderate in the neighborhoods with higher land use mix. Further, high-speed traffic was a significant barrier to cycling among female commuters. Noticeably, our analysis did not find major gender-based differences in the coefficients relating to travel attitudes and preferences. The findings provide a Canadian comparison to the limited international research on this topic, as well as offer new insights particularly relating to cycling for non-commute trips. The results identify potential avenues for policy intervention regarding the promotion of healthy and sustainable travel behavior among post-secondary students, and more broadly, the millennial generation.

Language: en


Commute; cycling facilities; millenials; non-commute; post-secondary students; travel attitudes


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