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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Active Travel Behavior


Physical inactivity has become a dominant feature of most American’s lives over the past quarter century. This has spurred an entire research domain straddling several different disciplines. Although model development within the field of travel behavior as a whole continues today with more momentum than ever, the focus on active mode choice has largely been overlooked and left to a small fragment of transportation and public health researchers. Research regarding active mode choice has been primarily conducted outside the field of travel behavior and has utilized research methods designed for other purposes. This leads to results which address behavioral causality in a superficial way while also neglecting the role of residential self-selection. This paper provides an overview of existing travel behavior analysis regarding active mode choice, presents potential threats to validity in this type of research, and critiques existing intervention methodologies. Additionally, a conceptual model of active travel behavior is presented and the roots of each component are discussed. By applying the rigor of travel behavior research to the subfield of active travel behavior research, and incorporating the conceptual model provided, great strides can be made relatively quickly in understanding animate mode choice and active travel behavior.

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