, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 179–205

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

  • Lothlorien S. Redmond
  • Patricia L. Mokhtarian

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010366321778

Cite this article as:
Redmond, L.S. & Mokhtarian, P.L. Transportation (2001) 28: 179. doi:10.1023/A:1010366321778


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 

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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