How Do Stressed Workers Make Travel Mode Choices that are Good for their Health, Safety, and Productivity?

This proposal integrates the perspectives from transportation and psychology research by focusing on the relations between commuting stress, commuting mode choice, and consequences of such choice for commuters' health, travel safety, and work performance. To fill the gaps in the transportation and psychology literatures, our proposal addresses 2 key research questions—1) under what circumstances workers experiencing commuting stress are more likely to commute via car vs. public transit vs. bicycle vs. on foot? 2) what are the different implications of choosing different commuting modes for commuters’ mental and physical health? This proposal to be funded by this mini-grant aims to analyze two existing datasets in order to inform a primary study to propose for a larger National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) project which the project manager plans to submit during the Spring 2017 cycle. Specifically, we will analyze an existing secondary data –the 2011 Oregon Household Activity Survey (Pilot Study 1) and the data from one-week daily diary surveys (Pilot Study 2) to address the aforementioned research questions, respectively. Results from these analyses will inform the study design of the intended primary study where both research questions will be examined simultaneously in a more rigorous way. This research (2 pilot studies and 1 primary study) will establish reliable instruments of commuting stress and examine the distribution of commuting stress across socio-demographic groups and geographic areas, particularly focusing on low income and minority population with limited commuting options. Findings from this research should shed light on possible intervention opportunities that help commuting workers to cope with various sources of life stress while making more informed decision on travel mode choice. Indeed, we contend that commuting workers, their employers, and transportation agencies and planners can all take part in these interventions that can benefit commuter/employee productivity and well-being, organizational bottom line as well as performance and safety of the transportation system.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $29920
  • Contract Numbers:

    NITC 995

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Portland State University

    1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 175
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97201
  • Managing Organizations:

    TREC at Portland State University

    1900 SW Fourth Ave, Suite 175
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97201
  • Project Managers:

    Hagedorn, Hau

  • Performing Organizations:

    Portland State University

    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97207-0751
  • Start Date: 20160601
  • Expected Completion Date: 20170630
  • Actual Completion Date: 20180118

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01632274
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Institute for Transportation and Communities
  • Contract Numbers: NITC 995
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Apr 13 2017 12:55PM