Am stressed, must travel: The relationship between mode choice and commuting stress

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting, ridership - mode choice, ridership - behaviour, planning - surveys, planning - safety/accidents


Stress, Commute, Driving, Walking, Happy, Public transit


The stress of commuting has serious public health and social implications. By comparing stress across different modes it is possible to determine which modes are more heavily contributing to this potential health and social issue. This study uses a large-scale university travel survey to compare commuter stress across three modes of transportation (walking, driving, and using public transit). It also investigates the specific factors that contribute to stress using these modes. Using ordered logistic regressions, the study develops a general model of stress and three mode-specific models. Results show that driving is the most stressful mode of transportation when compared to others. We also find that stressors for some modes are not stressors for others. Knowing which specific factors make certain modes stressful will help transportation and public health professionals make commuting a safer, more enjoyable, and less stressful activity; in turn this could mitigate the potentially serious health outcomes of a stressful commute.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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