Économie et Statistique n° 457-458 - 2012Transport Survey
Is Mobility Becoming More Homogenous or More Diversified?
Mobility today is organised around three main dimensions. The most important of these characterises modal share, opposing suburban and rural mobility marked by the hegemony of the automobile and urban mobility allowing a greater place for alternative modes. Preference for the automobile is correlated to the intensity of professional and family activities, as well as to the constraints of the location in which they live. The second dimension ranks mobility in terms of intensity and largely depends on the socio-economic and cultural position of individuals, and also on any handicaps restricting mobility. The third dimension, finally, reflects the range of mobility, either local or reaching beyond the local living area, and is also correlated to social position. This insight into today's mobility reveals some profound changes. Fifteen years ago, the key differences found in mobility were in terms of intensity, followed by differences between active and non-active persons. While levels of daily mobility have evened out mechanically, with increasing use of cars and the generational shift, the means of transport used show an increasingly clear gap between large conurbations, which have begun a switch towards alternative transportation means, and the rest of the territory. This transition, the causes of which are no doubt multiple, also emphasises the continuing lack of alternatives to the car in small towns and suburban areas.