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Addresses : Iran University of Science & Technology - Tehran – Iran

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Email: Information@iust.ac.ir 

:: Ph.D ::
 | Post date: 2019/02/13 | 
Enayat Mirzaei , P.H. D student will complete his P.H. D thesis on “Explaining utilitarian and non-utilitarian travel behavior and analyzing their relationships with the built environment and subjective attributes"in 16 February 2019, 1-3 p.m.

Thesis Supervisors:
Dr. Reza Kheyroddin
Dr. Mostafa Behzadfar

Thesis Advisors:
Dr. Dominique Mignot
Dr. Mahmoud mohamadi

Referees inside IUST:

Dr. Mehran Allalhesabi
Dr. Majid Mofidi
Referees inside IUST:
Dr. Mojtaba Rafieian
Dr. Farshad Noorian

Over past decades, a growing number of researches have tried to more precisely and comprehensively identify and investigate the chief factors which affect travel behavior. Although a considerable progress has been achieved, there are still some important research gaps in this field. In this regards, identification, measurement and analysis of primary utility and motivation of travel has been less regarded. In the majority of previous studies, travel has been considered as a derived demand, that is, trip is pure mean to reach the destinations which are spatially separated. Though this notion can justify travel behavior for mandatory purposes (such as work trips and medical care) very well, it has been systematically challenged in explaining non-utilitarian trips. In fact, some individuals may make trips for intrinsic utility. Thus, ignoring this issue leads to misunderstand travel behavior and wrong spatial prescriptions. On the other hand, travel behavior is a multidimensional and complex phenomenon which is influenced by a variety of factors. While a large number of studies, using transport geography theories, has just focused on external mechanism and individuals' objective characteristics, the role of subjective attributes (socio-psychological variables) in explaining travel behavior has not been well-explored. To develop this subject, current thesis follows two main goals. Firstly, by designing a scientific framework, it tries to clearly distinguish between non-work trips in terms of primary motivation and secondly it aims to develop a theoretical framework by combining theories in transport geography and theories in social-psychological to better justify travel behavior and  then empirically test it. To achieve these goals, after reviewing literature and extracting a comprehensive conceptual model, 12 neighborhoods in Isfahan, Iran, have been chosen in a way that covers various urban form and different socio-economic characteristics. Following that, 415 respondents, reside in these neighborhoods, randomly participated in the survey and answered to 7 categories of question regarding socio-economics, lifestyle, attitudes, sense of place, travel behavior components, and travel habits. The results of the research reveal valuable insights for better understanding travel behavior. 1) Despite our initial expectation, the portion of non-utilitarian trips is considerably more than utilitarian trips. Meanwhile, some respondents responded to the motivation questions inconsistently which indicates that travel has complex motivations. 2) Travel habits significantly contribute in explaining both utilitarian and non-utilitarian travel behavior. 3) Except for car us for non-utilitarian trips, at least one objective built environment characteristics significantly affect travel mode choice decision. 4) It seems that utility of car use for non-utilitarian trips is conducted for a desire mode-specific and it is merely influenced by socio-economics, lifestyle and travel habits. 5) Two variables including population density and mixing land use are able to substitute travel mode choice (driving by walking) for utilitarian trips. 6) Both types of variables including objective built environment and subjective attitudes (lifestyle, attitudes, and sense of place) significantly play a role in shaping travel habits. Finally, clarifying the relationships between variables in thi thesis can help urban planner prescribe appropriate spatial and non-spatial strategies and arrange urban spaces and manage travel demands.
Keywords: Utilitarian and non-utilitarian travel, Built environment, Lifestyle, Multivariate analysis, Isfahan.
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