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Watching the clock on the way to work? Analysing trends in commuting activities, modes and gender differences in commute times, using hazard based duration modelling methods

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dilum Dissanayake



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This study uses Hazard-based duration modelling methods to investigate commute patterns of males and females,with the aim of exploring the variability of commute times and modes over a period of nine yearsbeginning in 2003. Securing two major datasets of the UK National Travel Survey (NTS) and Tyne and Wearhousehold travel survey, as well as the level of detail that the chosen datasets offer, made it possible to ascertainthe complexity of commuter travel at its fundamental level. Duration models have been very popular whenanalysing duration related activities. However, duration modelling research in the context of transport so far hasbeen restricted to cross sectional one-off datasets. This is the first study that investigates commuting durations ata disaggregate level over a sustained period of nine years using duration modelling methods to acquire a fundamentalunderstanding of the changes in commute durations. Gender aspects as well as the transport modes,including non-motorised transport (NMT), car and public transport (PT), were also addressed in the analysis.Probability density functions (PDFs), survival functions (S(f)) and hazard functions (H(f)) were employed whencarrying out in-depth investigations into the patterns of commuting activities generated by males and females forthe whole period of study over nine years, followed by year on year analysis. The descriptive analysis shows thatcommuting times are becoming longer as time goes by. Year on year analysis reveals that commute trips by carmade by males are more likely to prevail in the system compared to PT, especially towards the end of the studyperiod in 2010–11. The opposite is true for female commuting trips. NMT was an attractive mode for both malesand females in 2009–10 even for longer commute trip durations of over 50 min. As the complexity of the activitytravel patterns of males and females has not been given adequate attention in previous research, this study madea step forward in investigating the gender aspects, with specific attention being given to the differences incommute times. Transport authorities' and policy makers' timely interventions, such as quality bus partnerships,cycle city guides, and cycle to work schemes, as well as Metro system reinvigorations, including smart ticketing,have been taken into account when rationalizing the results and the changes to commute times over the studyperiod.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dissanayake D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Transport Geography

Year: 2017

Volume: 65

Pages: 188-199

Print publication date: 01/12/2017

Online publication date: 03/11/2017

Acceptance date: 20/10/2017

Date deposited: 21/11/2017

ISSN (print): 0966-6923

ISSN (electronic): 1873-1236

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2017.10.013


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