Journal Article
Does urban living influence baby boomers’ travel behavior?

We compare the travel behavior of urban versus suburban baby boomers in the Boston metropolitan area. Using propensity score matching to attempt to control for self-selection and data from two surveys implemented in 2008 and 2010, we find that the urban boomers tend to be less automobile-dependent than suburban baby boomers. Urban baby boomers also make more recreational non-motorized transport (NMT), social, utilitarian, and transit commute trips. Most of these differences seem to be primarily a result of the urban setting, not the particular preferences of boomers living in urban settings. We find very small self-selection effects on automobile commuting, recreational NMT, and utilitarian trips: 1–7% of observed influence. We also find some evidence that baby boomers’ preference for social activities tends to be mismatched to their environments – suburban boomers want more social opportunities than their settings enable. For public transport, we find a relatively large self-selection effect, 43% of observed influence, suggesting a transit-oriented boomer market segment exists.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLee JSeung
Secondary AuthorsP. Zegras C
Tertiary AuthorsBen-Joseph E
Subsidiary AuthorsPark S
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Volume35
Pagination21-29
Date Published02/2014
Abstract

We compare the travel behavior of urban versus suburban baby boomers in the Boston metropolitan area. Using propensity score matching to attempt to control for self-selection and data from two surveys implemented in 2008 and 2010, we find that the urban boomers tend to be less automobile-dependent than suburban baby boomers. Urban baby boomers also make more recreational non-motorized transport (NMT), social, utilitarian, and transit commute trips. Most of these differences seem to be primarily a result of the urban setting, not the particular preferences of boomers living in urban settings. We find very small self-selection effects on automobile commuting, recreational NMT, and utilitarian trips: 1–7% of observed influence. We also find some evidence that baby boomers’ preference for social activities tends to be mismatched to their environments – suburban boomers want more social opportunities than their settings enable. For public transport, we find a relatively large self-selection effect, 43% of observed influence, suggesting a transit-oriented boomer market segment exists.

URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0966692314000052