, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 179–205 | Cite as

The positive utility of the commute: modeling ideal commute time and relative desired commute amount

  • Lothlorien S. Redmond
  • Patricia L. Mokhtarian


Two measures of commute time preferences – Ideal Commute Time and Relative Desired Commute amount (a variable indicating the desire to commute "much less" to "much more" than currently) – are modeled, using tobit and ordered probit, respectively. Ideal Commute Time was found to be positively related to Actual Commute Time and to a liking and utility for commuting, and negatively related to commute frequency and to a family/community-oriented lifestyle. Relative Desired Commute, on the other hand, was negatively related to amounts of actual commute and work-related travel, but positively related to travel liking and a measure of commute benefit. Overall, commute time is not unequivocally a source of disutility to be minimized, but rather offers some benefits (such as a transition between home and work). Most people have a non-zero optimum commute time, which can be violated in either direction – i.e. it is possible (although comparatively rare, occurring for only 7% of the sample) to commute too little. On the other hand, a large proportion of people (52% of the sample) are commuting longer than they would like, and hence would presumably be receptive to reducing (although usually not eliminating) that commute.

commuting ordered probit tobit travel behavior 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lothlorien S. Redmond
    • 1
  • Patricia L. Mokhtarian
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Transportation StudiesUniversity of CaliforniaDavis, DavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Institute of Transportation StudiesUniversity of CaliforniaDavis, DavisUSA

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