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When is Commuting Desirable to the Individual?

Author

Listed:
  • David T. Ory
  • Patricia L. Mokhtarian
  • Lothlorien S. Redmond
  • Ilan Salomon
  • Gustavo O. Collantes
  • Sangho Choo

Abstract

Commuting is popularly viewed as a stressful, costly, time-wasting experience from the individual perspective, with the attendant congestion imposing major social costs as well. However, several authors have noted that commuting can also offer benefits to the individual, serving as a valued transition between the home and work realms of personal life. Using survey data collected from about 1,300 commuting workers in three San Francisco Bay Area neighborhoods, empirical models are developed for four key variables measured for commute travel, namely: Objective Mobility, Subjective Mobility, Travel Liking, and Relative Desired Mobility. Explanatory variables include measures of general travel-related attitudes, personality traits, lifestyle priorities, and sociodemographic characteristics. Both descriptive statistics and analytical models indicate that commuting is not the unmitigated burden that it is widely perceived to be. About half of the sample were relatively satisfied with the amount they commute, with a small segment actually wanting to increase that amount. Both the psychological impact of commuting, and the amounts people want to commute relative to what they are doing now, are strongly influenced by their liking for commuting. An implication for policy is that some people may be more resistant than expected toward approaches intended to induce reductions in commuting (including, for example, telecommuting). New creativity may be needed to devise policies that recognize the inherent positive utility of travel, while trying to find socially beneficial ways to fulfill desires to maintain or increase travel. Copyright 2004 Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky..

Suggested Citation

  • David T. Ory & Patricia L. Mokhtarian & Lothlorien S. Redmond & Ilan Salomon & Gustavo O. Collantes & Sangho Choo, 2004. "When is Commuting Desirable to the Individual?," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 334-359.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:35:y:2004:i:3:p:334-359
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stopher, Peter R., 2004. "Reducing road congestion: a reality check," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 117-131, April.
    2. Redmond, Lothlorien S. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2001. "Modeling Objective Mobility: The Impact of Travel-Related Attitudes, Personality and Lifestyle on Distance Traveled," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt05d352fr, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    3. Redmond, Lothlorien, 2000. "Identifying and Analyzing Travel-Related Attitudinal, Personality, and Lifestyle Clusters in the San Francisco Bay Area," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt0317h7v4, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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    Cited by:

    1. Páez, Antonio & Whalen, Kate, 2010. "Enjoyment of commute: A comparison of different transportation modes," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 537-549, August.
    2. Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2004. "Reducing road congestion: a reality check--a comment," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 183-184, April.
    3. Georg Gottholmseder & Klaus Nowotny & Gerald J. Pruckner & Engelbert Theurl, 2009. "Stress perception and commuting," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 559-576.
    4. Eric Morris & Erick Guerra, 2015. "Mood and mode: does how we travel affect how we feel?," Transportation, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 25-43, January.
    5. Carlton Basmajian, 2010. "“Turn on the radio, bust out a song”: the experience of driving to work," Transportation, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 59-84, January.
    6. Sangho Choo & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2008. "How do people respond to congestion mitigation policies? A multivariate probit model of the individual consideration of three travel-related strategy bundles," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 145-163, March.
    7. Westin, Kerstin & Sandow, Erika, 2010. "People’s preferences for commuting in sparsely populated areas: The case of Sweden," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 2(3), pages 87-107.
    8. Ory, David T. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "Modeling the Joint Labor-Commute Engagement Decisions of San Francisco Bay Area Residents," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt7600m6qv, University of California Transportation Center.
    9. Ory, David T, 2007. "Structural Equation Modeling of Relative Desired Travel Amounts," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8mj659fp, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    10. Ory, David T. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "When is getting there half the fun? Modeling the liking for travel," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 97-123.
    11. Stefan P.T. Groot & Henri L.F. de Groot & Paolo Veneri, 2012. "The Educational Bias in Commuting Patterns: Micro-Evidence for the Netherlands," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Ory, D T & Mokhtarian, Patricia L, 2005. "Don’t Work, Work at Home, or Commute? Discrete Choice Models of the Decision for San Francisco Bay Area Residents," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt71q8b94r, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    13. Morris, Eric A., 2015. "Should we all just stay home? Travel, out-of-home activities, and life satisfaction," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 519-536.
    14. Ben-Elia, Eran & Alexander, Bayarma & Hubers, Christa & Ettema, Dick, 2014. "Activity fragmentation, ICT and travel: An exploratory Path Analysis of spatiotemporal interrelationships," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 56-74.
    15. Natalia Presman & Arie Arnon, "undated". "Commuting Patterns in Israel," Regional and Urban Modeling 283600076, EcoMod.
    16. Mokhtarian, Patricia L & Ory, David T, 2005. "Don't Work, Work at Home, or Commute? Discrete Choice Models of the Decision for San Francisco Bay Area Residents," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5cs0q85s, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    17. Patricia Mokhtarian & Ilan Salomon & Susan Handy, 2006. "The Impacts of Ict on leisure Activities and Travel: A Conceptual Exploration," Transportation, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 263-289, May.
    18. repec:eee:transa:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:195-208 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. David Ory & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2010. "The impact of non-normality, sample size and estimation technique on goodness-of-fit measures in structural equation modeling: evidence from ten empirical models of travel behavior," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 427-445, April.
    20. Ory, David Terrance, 2007. "Structural Equation Modeling of Relative Desired Travel Amounts," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt7rb3x52m, University of California Transportation Center.

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