The enormous potential of cycling to make cities and regions more sustainable is often not realized. Given the evidence that women cycle less than men, this study looks into the cycling habits of female immigrants from driving-oriented to cycling-oriented countries in relation to the fulfillment of their needs and their immersion in their new culture. A survey measured existence, relatedness, and growth needs with Likert-type items and collected socioeconomic characteristics and travel habits of 570 female Polish immigrants who moved to established and developing cycling cultures. A hybrid bivariate ordered model captured the propensity toward habitual cycling in the adopted country and cycling intentions upon return to the home country in relation to the needs and the traits of the female immigrants. Model results suggest that the cycling habits of female immigrants are related to past travel habits, while future intentions of cycling are connected to tangible (e.g., distance) and emotional (e.g., income stigma) barriers. Relevantly, model results indicate a positive relation between cycling culture and cycling habits in terms of both culture strength and exposure, but also a negative relation between relatedness to the home country and future intentions of cycling. Lastly, model results show that cycling habits relate to the fulfillment of existence needs and even more of relatedness and growth needs. Accordingly, the key to promote cycling among female immigrants is not only to satisfy their functional needs, but also cater to their emotional and self-actualization needs.
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© National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2018.