Travel mode choice among same-sex couples

Nicholas J. Klein, Michael J. Smart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Same-sex partnered individuals are far more likely to use transit, walk, and cycle, and to a lesser extent, use carpools than are people in straight couples. As society becomes more tolerant, gay and lesbian populations are an increasingly visible social group, yet they have received scant attention by transportation scholars. This paper builds on this nascent literature by documenting and attempting to explain these dramatic differences by controlling for factors known to influence mode choice.We perform two separate analyses employing two distinct datasets. The first analysis examines journey-to-work data from the American Community Survey. The second analysis focuses in specifically on non-motorized (walking, biking) travel using use self-reported walk and bike frequency from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey. In both, we find that characteristics of the neighborhoods in which gays and lesbians live, as well characteristics of the individuals themselves, only explain part of the increased propensity to use "alternative" modes of transportation; a strong residual effect remains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


  • Demographics
  • Gay and lesbian
  • Neighborhoods
  • Travel behavior

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