Since the bicycle is believed to be an important sustainable alternative for the increasingly problematic auto-mobility, this paper discusses the potential modal shift from car to bicycle in the urban region of Ghent, Belgium. Based on travel diary data the relationships between mode, activity, distance, location and socio-demographic background are explored. Based on the results of a travel survey in 2000 in Ghent, the authors analyze the current modal split and the potential modal shift from car to bicycle. The authors split up the urban region into four functional zones to analyze how urban level affects modal choice. Since distance and speed are believed to be the most important factors whether or not to take the bicycle, the authors focus on these two aspects. The authors first examine the main features of the Ghent city region, then outline the database used (the OVG - Onderzoek Verplaatsings Gedrag, Research into Travel Behaviour) and report some figures of the overall travel behaviour in Ghent. The authors then discuss the potential modal shift to bicycle. Results show that the car is still dominant in intra-urban traffic, not only for residents of suburbs and the urban fringe, but also it is the most important transport mode even for citizens of the inner city. Nonetheless, bicycle use has most growth potential for trips within a range of 1 km to 3 km. In particular, promotion of the bicycle for shopping can be very effective. For trips longer than 5 km, the bicycle can also play an important role to realize a more successful and effective modal shift to environmentally cleaner mobility by creating an active synergy between bike and public transport. The author concludes that in the quest for more sustainable mobility, the importance of cycling is not just its environmental benefit, but also the economic and social gains of a greater cycling share in the modal split. Sustainable policies must utilize an integrated approach of economic, environmental, and social aspects.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00987546
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 28 2005 12:00AM