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Urban Commute Travel Distances in Tehran, Istanbul, and Cairo: Weighted Least Square Models

Masoumi, Houshmand

Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft (ZTG)

A very large part of the literature on urban commute travels is related to high-income countries. The determinants of urban commute trip distances are not clear in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA); thus, this study attempts to shed light on this topic in relation to Tehran, Istanbul, and Cairo. The objective is to clarify which environmental and human factors are correlated with commuting distance in these cities. Using primary disaggregate data produced by surveys in the three cities (n = 8237) in 2017, weighted least square regressions showed that fifteen significant or highly significant variables, including individual and household characteristics, mobility decisions, residential location, and land use attributes, predict the lengths of urban commute trips in the MENA sample. Unlike western countries, age and gender are not significant predictors of commute distance in MENA large cities. The results of independent-sample Kruskal–Wallis test show that there is a significant difference between the mean one-way commute travel distances in the three cities (Tehran: 9096 m, Istanbul: 10839 m, and Cairo: 6670 m); however, there are some similarities in the determinants of commute distance in the three cities. The results can be adopted to reduce commute trip lengths by providing a more connected street network and accessible neighborhood-level facilities.