To bike or not to bike? – Evidence from a university relocation

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


This paper investigates the determinants of cycling in a rather unique setting: the relocation of one of the largest Austrian universities from the North to the East of Vienna (a distance of approximately 5 km). We analyze the students’ cycling behavior before and after the university relocation based on a large-scale (retrospective) online survey. Unlike earlier studies on cycling determinants, which often suffer from endogeneity, we can exploit the fact that the university relocation causes commute-related variables to change exogenously, whereas socio-economic and attitudinal characteristics as well as the trip purpose remain constant. We find a large positive correlation in the propensity to cycle to the old and the new university location at the person level as well as substantial heterogeneity in cycling inclination across students, which can only partially be explained by socio-economic and attitudinal variables. Moreover, we find evidence that past cycling times form a reference point for future mode choice decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49 - 69
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502017 Logistics
  • 502024 Public economy
  • 507026 Economic geography

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