Which activities do those with long commutes forego, and should we care?

Eric A. Morris, Dick Ettema, Ying Zhou
2020 Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives  
Available online xxxx Commuting imposes opportunity costs on travelers since those with long commutes have less time to participate in other activities. This paper examines how commute duration is associated with activity patterns. It utilizes a twoday time use survey administered in the United Kingdom in 2014 and 2015. Focusing on full-time employees and controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, we regress time spent engaging in 22 different activities on commute duration using OLS
more » ... Cragg two-part hurdle modeling. We separately test the effects of commute duration on activity participation for men versus women and for single persons versus persons in couples. We also report the subjective well-being (SWB), specifically the hedonic affect, associated with these activities as determined by using fixed-effects panel regression. The estimations suggest that commutes are associated with time constraints and entail trade-offs, with longer commutes being associated with significantly less time engaging in most of our activities including sleep, cooking, housework, shopping/accessing services, arts/entertainment activities, TV/music time, computer games and other computer use, visiting with others, sports/exercise/outdoor activities, hobbies, volunteering, and non-work travel. Those with longer commutes are found to tend to engage in more of two activities: work and eating out. The activities those with longer commutes tend to forego run the gamut from high-SWB to low-SWB. Given that the lowest-SWB activity in our sample is commuting itself, it appears as if the substitution of nearly any activity for commuting may bring emotional benefits. In all, the results suggest that longer commutes are associated with significant emotional costs.
doi:10.1016/j.trip.2020.100119 fatcat:twtsqdys4nadtdjiodcqcap5aq