First Advisor

Jennifer L. Dill

Date of Publication

Spring 6-13-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies




Commuting -- Oregon -- Portland, Well-being, Choice of transportation -- Psychological aspects, Happiness



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 183 pages)


To understand the impact of daily travel on personal and societal well-being, researchers are developing measurement techniques that go beyond satisfaction-based measures of travel. Metrics related Subjective Well-Being (SWB), defined as an evaluation of one's happiness or life satisfaction, are increasingly important for evaluating transportation and land-use policies. This dissertation examines commute well-being, a multi-item measure of how one feels about the commute to work, and how it is shaped. Data are from a web-based survey of workers (n=828) in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., with three roughly equally sized groups based on mode: bike, transit and car users. Descriptive analysis shows that commute well-being varies widely across the sample. Those who bike and walk to work have significantly higher commute well-being than transit and car commuters. A multiple linear regression model shows that along with travel mode, traffic congestion, travel time, income, health, attitudes about travel, job satisfaction and residential satisfaction also play important individual roles in shaping commute well-being. A structural equation model reveals a significant correlation between commute well-being and overall happiness, controlling for other key happiness indicators. This research helps expand existing theory by demonstrating (1) how commute well-being can be measured and modeled; (2) how accessibility, distance and travel time impact commute well-being; (3) how individual mode choices interact with attitudes to impact commute satisfaction and (4) commuting's relationship to overall well being.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier