On time and ready to go: An analysis of commuters’ punctuality and energy levels at work or school (Abstract, Charis Loong , Dea van Lierop , Ahmed El-Geneidy, Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, Dec. 23, 2016)
Also discussed here: Cyclists Are Winning Commuting (Andrew Small, The Atlantic City Lab, Dec. 23, 2016)
Today we review research into commuting choices made by staff and students at McGill University in Canada’s second largest city, Montreal. Although Montreal is hilly and quite cold and snowy in the winter, its cyclists and pedestrians are relatively well served by its city’s administration and policies as reflected in the infrastructure provided for pedestrians and cycling. Montreal has by far the best organized and extensive car free days each year. Montreal was the first city in Canada to have segregated bike lanes in its downtown.
The study of McGill’s commuters reveals that, unlike what most people assume, commuting time per se is not the most important factor- punctuality and feeling energized on arrival are, while noting that the longest time for commutes were those taken by public transit or by private vehicle. If applicable elsewhere (and this may not be valid in cities where infrastructure is poor, where the commuters are older or where winter snow is too much of a barrier), this means that city transportation planners might have to give priority to punctuality and the benefits of arriving refreshed when deciding on improvements for commuters in their cities.
“analyzed the commuting patterns of the students, staff, and faculty at the school located in downtown Montreal, surveying 5,599 people at the campus in 2013.”
“For the commuters at McGill University, pedestrians had the shortest average commute (about 18.5 minutes), followed by cyclists (23.5 minutes), drivers (32.5 minutes), and transit riders (43.5 minutes).”
“Walkers skewed significantly to younger students, while drivers tended to be older staff and faculty, and cyclists and public-transit riders fell somewhere in the middle.”
“weather conditions and mode of transportation have significant impacts on an individual’s energy at work and punctuality.”
“drivers have the lowest odds of feeling energized and the highest odds of arriving late for work.”
“Cyclists, meanwhile, have the highest odds of feeling energized and being punctual.”
“satisfaction with travel mode is associated with higher odds of feeling energized and being punctual. With these findings in mind, policy makers should consider developing strategies that aim to increase the mode satisfaction of commuters.”