Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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What Makes a Commuter Cyclist? A Mixed Methods Study of Behavioural Antecedents and Perceptions of Commuter Cycling in the Wellington Region

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posted on 2021-11-14, 12:55 authored by Randal, Ed

Encouraging active transport contributes to both environmental sustainability and public health objectives. However, due to a myriad of physical, societal and personal factors, shifting car trips to the bicycle is notoriously difficult especially in societies where car use is deeply engrained in both the social and urban fabric. It is therefore important to explore novel approaches to promote utilitarian cycling.  Past studies have suggested there may be a link between cycling for recreation and cycling for transport. If this is the case, one could hypothesise that policies that promote recreational cycling may also indirectly promote utilitarian cycling.  This study begins to explore this important research question by investigating whether recreational cyclists are more amenable to utilitarian cycling than non-cyclists, using a case study of commuting in the Wellington Region of New Zealand.  Behaviour theory, based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour, provided the conceptual framework for a mixed methods analysis of Wellington Region commuters. Empirical modelling of commuter cycling behaviour showed that almost all antecedents of the behaviours of recreational cyclists are closer to those of commuter cyclists than to non-cyclists. Qualitative analysis provided further evidence that recreational cyclists are more prepared and willing to cycle their commute than non-cyclists.  It is concluded that, for the study sample, recreational cyclists are indeed more amenable to commuting by bicycle than non-cyclists in the Wellington region.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Environmental Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Chapman, Ralph