What factors are associated with travel liking on a recent commute? Evidence from commuters in Portland, Oregon

Travel can be a derived demand and exhibit intrinsic benefits beyond simply reaching destinations. While commuting is stressful for many people, others enjoy or like their commutes. Why? What trip and traveler characteristics explain variations in people’s affinity for travel? This research tackles these and other questions surrounding travel liking in the context of commuting. The data used in this study were collected from 609 commuters through a 30-minute online questionnaire survey in Portland, Oregon, in fall 2016. An ordered logit model examined associations between explanatory factors—commute mode, travel time, sociodemographics, a subjective assessment of travel usefulness, and (for a subsample) attitudinal and well-being measures—and travel liking for a recent commute, measured on a five-point scale from “strongly disliked” to “strongly liked.” Confirming previous research, most travelers (64%) liked their commutes and only 15% disliked the journey to work. People bicycling and walking had the most positive ratings of commute liking, and automobile drivers had the least. Furthermore, travel time was negatively associated with commute liking, especially for auto drivers and transit passengers. Few sociodemographic characteristics were significant, although people with an undergraduate degree, in a low-income household, and aged 65+ were more likely to like their commutes. There was also a strong and positive association between commute liking and the perceived usefulness of the commute. Additional analysis of a subsample found only a few attitudes and well-being scales that were significantly associated with commute liking: People who were satisfied with their life and led a purposeful life had a greater chance of liking travel.


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  • Accession Number: 01767930
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 4 2021 3:33PM