Life course approaches to travel behaviour, often labelled as mobility biographies, have emerged as a fruitful and promising research field over the past decade. They understand travel behaviour in the context of individual life courses and their phases of stability and change induced by life transitions and events, and they consider these individual processes to be embedded in personal networks and wider societal, economic and spatial processes. The paper first identifies motivations to pursue biographical research before introducing theoretical perspectives which can assist with biographical research of travel behaviour. It then summarises the contribution to date of travel behaviour studies which have adopted a biographical approach. This is presented in sections on life event effects on travel behaviour, the residential relocation and travel behaviour inter-relationship and the role of socialisation in travel behaviour. Research to date has shown that changes to travel behaviour are closely associated with life course events and with broader life development. Of particular interest for the future is to better understand what features of life course events are important in determining travel behaviour changes, to consider how life events themselves are influenced by travel preferences, to consider how different events interact to shape travel behaviour and to view and understand travel behaviour development over the life span.
Chatterjee, K., & Scheiner, J. (2015, July). Understanding changing travel behaviour over the life course: Contributions from biographical research. Paper presented at 14th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research