An Analysis of Gender Differences in Vehicles Miles Traveled (VMT) Using Nonparametric Methods

In the United States as in many nations, there are often differences between the travel patterns of men and women with regards to the differences in travel. Traditionally, women make shorter work trips, make greater use of public transit, make more trips for the purpose of serving another person's travel needs, and drive far fewer miles per year than men. These differences in travel are delineated by the separate social responsibilities of men and women. However, in the past few decades, women have been participating more in the labor force. In addition, women still retain their family obligations as nurturers, shoppers, and homemakers. Given the changes in the transit patterns of women in recent decades, women’s travel patterns still differed substantially from those of men. In fact, these emerging trends from transit patterns of women, their actual vehicle miles traveled (VMT) are starting to increase and may surpass the VMT of men. Additionally, it is speculated by transportation planners and policy-makers that the VMT of women will surpass the VMT of men in the future. In the past, transportation studies have not been particularly oriented to women’s’ travel issues despite the presence of the data and statistical methodologies. On the other hand, surveys such as the National Household Transportation Survey (NHTS) can be used to understand trends in women's travel patterns, which are often attributed to changes in labor force participation, household structure, and attitudes. This paper will analyze the differences in the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) between men and women using nonparametric methods using the data from the NHTS data as prepared by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) in the U.S. Department of Transportation. Moreover, the examination of the relationship of VMT and other household variables would be estimated in a flexible way which cannot be assessed using parametric modeling methods.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-28

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