Car use: a matter of dependency or choice? The case of commuting in Noord-Brabant.

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Car use in the sprawled urban region of Noord‐Brabant is above the Dutch average. Does this reflect car dependency due to the lack of competitive alternative modes? Or are there other factors at play, such as differences in preferences? This article aims to determine the nature of car use in the region and explore to what extent this reflects car dependency. The data, comprising 3,244 respondents was derived from two online questionnaires among employees from the High‐Tech Campus (2018) and the TU/e‐campus (2019) in Eindhoven. Travel times to work by car, public transport, cycling, and walking were calculated based on the respondents’ residential location. Indicators for car dependency were developed using thresholds for maximum commuting times by bicycle and maximum travel time ratios between public transport and car. Based on these thresholds, approximately 40% of the respondents were categorised as car‐dependent. Of the non‐car‐dependent respondents, 31% use the car for commuting. A binomial logit model revealed that higher residential densities and closer proximity to a railway station reduce the odds of car commuting. Travel time ratios also have a significant influence on the expected directions. Mode choice preferences (e.g., comfort, flexibility, etc.) also have a significant, and strong, impact. These results highlight the importance of combining hard (e.g., improvements in infrastructure or public transport provi-sion) and soft (information and persuasion) measures to reduce car use and car dependency in commuting trips.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-68
Number of pages13
JournalUrban Planning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Noord‐Brabant
  • built environment
  • car dependency
  • car use
  • infrastructure
  • preferences


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