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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effects of Gender on Commuter Behavior Changes in the Context of a Major Freeway Construction

  • Author(s): Mokhtarian, Patricia L.
  • Ye, Liang
  • Yun, Meiping
  • et al.

To study the commuter travel behavior impacts of a nine-week reconstruction of Interstate 5 (I-5) in downtown Sacramento, California, a series of three internet-based surveys was conducted. This paper offers a preliminary analysis of the first two of those surveys, focusing on the role of gender in commuters’ responses. Avoiding rush hour and changing route were the most common responses, and women were more likely than men to employ them. Among the changes that reduce vehicle-miles traveled, increasing transit use and increasing telecommuting were the most common. Overall, women were 21% more likely to make at least one change than men were. A binary logit model of the choice to increase transit use suggests that persuading current transit users to increase their transit use was easier than convincing nonusers to switch. Respondents who heard about the increased level of transit service were more likely to increase transit use. Employer transit subsidies supported increases in transit use (but only for women), while variable work hours (for women) discouraged them. Men in managerial/administration and women in larger households were also more likely to increase their transit use.

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