A human perspective on the daily commute: Costs, benefits and trade-offs

Lyons, G. and Chatterjee, K. (2008) A human perspective on the daily commute: Costs, benefits and trade-offs. Transport Reviews, 28 (2). pp. 181-198. ISSN 0144-1647 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/8251

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01441640701559484


The average worker in Britain spends 139 h/year commuting—the equivalent of 19 standard working days. While the average distance and time taken for journeys to work has been steadily increasing, the average number of journeys has been decreasing at a similar rate. The aggregate picture inevitably masks an array of underlying trends. This paper offers a multi-perspective examination of commuting drawing upon the literature in transport, planning, geography, economics, psychology, sociology and medicine. It examines statistical evidence on trends in commuting travel behaviour and finds that one in 25 commuters now travels to work in excess of 100 km (both ways) and one in ten commuters now spends over 2 h/day travelling to and from work. It explores the different impacts (economic, health and social) that commuting has on the individuals who conduct it and seeks to understand better the role of commuting for individuals in today's society. The paper finishes its examination by reviewing the commute experience itself, including attitudes towards it and the use of time during the journey. It concludes by highlighting a dilemma facing transport planning and policy. There are social, economic and financial benefits from an improved travel experience for people with long commute journeys, yet improving the travel experience may itself contribute to the trend towards long-distance commuting.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:daily commute, transport, travel
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Geography and Environmental Management
ID Code:8251
Deposited By: J. Newton
Deposited On:08 Jul 2010 08:55
Last Modified:14 May 2018 23:07

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