Exploring Gender and Travel Complexity

Research Lead: Evelyn Blumenberg

UC Campus(es): UCLA

Problem Statement: In the United States, research reveals that women tend to travel shorter distances and durations compared to men. They also often have more complex travel patterns as they balance work and household responsibilities. This distinct travel behavior creates mobility challenges that can limit women's access to resources and opportunities. Recently, several forward-thinking California transportation agencies have started efforts to gain a better understanding of women's travel needs. They aim to implement services and policies that cater to these needs. However, existing analyses are often limited in scope, and as a result, they underestimate the intricacies of women's travel patterns.

Project Description: This project will analyze gender-related differences in the complexity of daily travel patterns in California. The analysis will rely on data from the California add-on to the 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), which includes information about all trips, modes of transportation, and purposes within a single travel day. The research will specifically focus on three aspects of complexity: i) trip complexity, which measures the number of linked destinations in a chain of trips; ii) modal complexity, which evaluates the number of different transportation modes used; and iii) spatial complexity, which assesses the geographic extent of the activity space. The study will quantify travel complexity, investigate the connection between complexity and gender, and estimate how gender relates to the key factors influencing these outcomes, such as race, income, household structure, and the presence of children. The findings from this research can provide valuable insights to transportation agencies currently involved in gender-inclusive planning efforts. Additionally, this data may justify greater attention to gender-related issues among California's transportation agencies and organizations.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $96,018