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Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives

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Bicycle commuting, Transportation -- Social aspects, Bicycle sharing programs


Understanding immigrants’ travel behavior is important to transportation planners and policymakers working to implement better transportation planning and public policies to serve those needs. The recent changes to the transportation system, specifically, the recent emergence of shared mobility services, such as car‐sharing, ride‐ sharing, and bike‐sharing, may have resulted in changes in how immigrants travel. Thus, we explored two research questions: (1) whether immigrants in the U.S. are more likely to rely on the three newly emerging transportation modes than US‐born persons, and (2) whether the assimilation theory can be applied to the modes. To answer these questions, we used data from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey and employed Zero‐Inflated Negative Binomial regression models to understand the specific behavior of immigrant travelers.

The models found the “immigrant effect” only for car‐sharing services and bike‐sharing programs; that is, relative to U.S. born residents, immigrants in the U.S. use car sharing and bike‐sharing services more frequently, while we found an insignificant association in ride‐sharing apps use. However, the negative binomial models suggested that immigrants use car sharing and ride sharing less frequently than expected. Immigrants who are in their first few years of living in the U.S. use smartphone rideshare app more frequently, confirming the “assimilation theory.” The results of the predicted frequency of the use indicated that with all other independent variables held constant, U.S. born residents use car‐sharing and ride‐sharing services more frequently than immigrants, though the difference is marginal. However, immigrants would still tend to use bike share programs more frequently rather than U.S. born residents.


© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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