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Sustainable Commuting: Results from a Social Approach and International Evidence on Carpooling

Department of Economic Analysis, University of Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
BIFI, University of Zaragoza, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain
Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), 53113 Bonn, Germany
Centre for Time Use Research (CTUR), London WC1H 0AL, UK
Department of Economics and Business Studies, University of La Rioja, 26006 Logroño, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9587;
Received: 6 October 2020 / Revised: 12 November 2020 / Accepted: 13 November 2020 / Published: 17 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Household Behaviors: Consumption and Mobility)
Sustainable commuting (SC) usually refers to environmentally friendly travel modes, such as public transport (bus, tram, subway, light rail), walking, cycling, and carpooling. The double aim of the paper is to summarize relevant prior results in commuting from a social approach, and to provide new, international empirical evidence on carpooling as a specific mode of sustainable commuting. The literature shows that certain socio-demographic characteristics clearly affect the use of non-motorized alternatives, and compared to driving, well-being is greater for those using active travel or public transport. Additionally, this paper analyzes the behavior of carpooling for commuting, using ordinary least squares (OLS) models, which have been estimated from the Multinational Time Use Study (MTUS) for the following countries: Bulgaria, Canada, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Results indicate that carpooling for commuting is not habitual for workers, as less than 25% of the total time from/to work by car is done with others on board. With respect to the role of the socio-demographic characteristics of individuals, our evidence indicates that age, gender, education, being native, and household composition may have a cross-country, consistent relationship with carpooling participation. Given that socializing is the main reason for carpooling, in the current COVID-19 pandemic, carpooling may be decreasing and, consequently, initiatives have been launched to show that carpooling is a necessary way to avoid crowded modes of transport. Thus, the development of high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes by local authorities can increase carpooling, and draw attention to the economic and environmental benefits of carpooling for potential users. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable commuting; human approach; carpooling sustainable commuting; human approach; carpooling
MDPI and ACS Style

Molina, J.A.; Giménez-Nadal, J.I.; Velilla, J. Sustainable Commuting: Results from a Social Approach and International Evidence on Carpooling. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9587.

AMA Style

Molina JA, Giménez-Nadal JI, Velilla J. Sustainable Commuting: Results from a Social Approach and International Evidence on Carpooling. Sustainability. 2020; 12(22):9587.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Molina, José A., J. I. Giménez-Nadal, and Jorge Velilla. 2020. "Sustainable Commuting: Results from a Social Approach and International Evidence on Carpooling" Sustainability 12, no. 22: 9587.

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