Implications of household form, gender and parenting cultures for car use and urban transport policy

a Sydney study

Anna Lyth-Gollner, Robyn Dowling

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


    Studies of urban travel – where people travel to, how they get there, for what purpose and for how long – have become increasingly sophisticated in their recognition of the complexity of urban travel. This includes, but is not limited to, the differences between work and non-journeys, gender differences, income and racial differences, and the different sorts of journeys undertaken by car versus public transport. There remains, however, a need to investigate urban travel by household because, firstly, the importance of household form has been suggested, but not elaborated on, by researchers concerned with gender and transport; and second, our previous work identified the importance of not only children in influencing women’s travel, but also of parenting cultures on travel behaviour and patterns. This paper thus reports findings from a research investigation into differentiations in car-use in the Sydney Metropolitan region. In this investigation we ask: how do travel mode, travel purpose by car and travel time by car vary, firstly by household type, and secondly by gender? The research is based on an analysis of the pooled results of the Household Travel Survey conducted by the NSW Department of Transport between 1991 and 1998. We find that both men and women in households with children more commonly travel by car, and especially for serve passenger trips. We also find that gender differences in travel by car may not be as significant as commonly thought. The study has a number of implications. One is that further research on ‘serve passenger’ trips is sorely needed. A second implication is that recognising the geographic and social specificity of car use may produce more appropriate and effective strategies for both reducing the growth in Sydney’s car-use and meeting transport needs of the Sydney community.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPapers of the 25th Australasian Transport Research Forum
    Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
    PublisherBureau of Transport & Regional Economics
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2002
    EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum : 25th -
    Duration: 2 Oct 20024 Oct 2002


    ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum : 25th

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