For press releases issued after to Jan. 20, 2012, see http://newsdesk.gmu.edu/category/press-releases/
May. 15, 2007
Media Contact: Tara Laskowski, firstname.lastname@example.org 703-993-8815
The next time you are stuck in gridlock traffic on the beltway, gritting your teeth in frustration, consider this: commuters prefer driving alone over taking mass transit or participating in a carpool because they feel more comfortable and in control during the trip.
According to the study, “The Emotional Response to Commuting,” by George Mason University PhD candidate Mitchell Baer, motorists would rather deal with long lines of traffic than sacrifice the comfort and control of their own cars. Using a recently developed, innovative survey technique called the Day Reconstruction Method, Baer surveyed close to 900 households and found that commuters who drive alone, as opposed to taking mass transit or carpooling, feel more emotionally satisfied with their commute.
Commuters say driving alone offers up more freedom—choosing when to leave, what route to take, which radio station to listen to, or what temperature to set in the car. In many instances, notes Baer, commuters say that driving alone is the only option, the least expensive option or the quickest option.
“With cars affording more creature comforts and independence and mass transit options becoming more crowded and uncomfortable—especially in light of Metro’s recent experiment to remove seats from its subway cars—it will be difficult to convince commuters to switch away from driving alone to and from work,” says Baer.
Other highlights of the study include:
Baer, who will graduate this May with a PhD in Environmental Science and Public Policy, is interested in how this information can affect public policy and transportation planning efforts.
“Transportation planning agencies hoping to reduce congestion by shifting commuters from driving alone to mass transit should look at transportation strategies that provide mass transit commuters with additional control over their commuting environments and improved comfort during their commutes,” says Baer.
If you are interested in speaking with Mitchell Baer, please contact Tara Laskowski at 703-993-8815 or email@example.com. The study is available upon request.
About George Mason University
George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its alumni to succeed in the workforce and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 50 law schools in the United States.