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

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5 Citations (Scopus)


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 years beginning in 2003. Securing two major datasets of the UK National Travel Survey (NTS) and Tyne and Wear household travel survey, as well as the level of detail that the chosen datasets offer, made it possible to ascertain the complexity of commuter travel at its fundamental level. Duration models have been very popular when analysing duration related activities. However, duration modelling research in the context of transport so far has been restricted to cross sectional one-off datasets. This is the first study that investigates commuting durations at a disaggregate level over a sustained period of nine years using duration modelling methods to acquire a fundamental understanding 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 when carrying out in-depth investigations into the patterns of commuting activities generated by males and females for the whole period of study over nine years, followed by year on year analysis. The descriptive analysis shows that commuting times are becoming longer as time goes by. Year on year analysis reveals that commute trips by car made by males are more likely to prevail in the system compared to PT, especially towards the end of the study period in 2010–11. The opposite is true for female commuting trips. NMT was an attractive mode for both males and females in 2009–10 even for longer commute trip durations of over 50 min. As the complexity of the activity travel patterns of males and females has not been given adequate attention in previous research, this study made a step forward in investigating the gender aspects, with specific attention being given to the differences in commute 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 study period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-199
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Commuter travel
  • Duration models
  • Males and females
  • Travel behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • General Environmental Science


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