Source: Adapted from Passenger Transport Mode Shares in World Cities, Journeys, December 2014.
Modal split across cities can vary substantially according to the level of development, urban density, and land use patterns. Dense cities (such as Asian and European cities) are generally more transit-oriented. In contrast, less dense cities (namely in North America and Australia) tend to rely more on the automobile as the dominant mode of urban travel. In developing economies, cycling and walking are more prevalent modes because of their low costs and the lack of modern transport infrastructures. Economic development, and particularly income growth, are linked with a growing share of the private automobile for commuting. For instance, in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the share of private vehicles used to be less than 5% in the 1990s, but by the 2010s, it increased to 20-25%. Outside economic considerations, social preferences can also play a significant role, such as the large share of cycling in Amsterdam (38%) and the large share of the automobile in Dallas (89%). It remains to be seen how the modal composition of urban mobility will evolve in the future.