Preferences for commuting in sparsely populated areas: the case of Sweden
2010 (English)In: Journal of Transport and Land Use, ISSN 1938-7849, Vol. 2, no 3/4, 87-107 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In a time of decreased inclination to migrate and an increased place attachment, increasingcommuting can improve the functionality of local labor markets. In regional development policy in Sweden,facilitating increased commuting over larger geographical areas is therefore viewed as essential forenhancing the supply of competent labor in all parts of the country and decreasing spatial segmentation.Building on an analysis of data from a survey of Swedish residents’ commuting options and preferences,this paper focuses on commuting in a relatively sparsely populated and peripheral area in northern Sweden.Further, the question of whether increased commuting is socially sustainable from a commuter’sperspective is discussed. e point of departure is that the individual and the individual’s context affectcommuting behavior through social norms, geographical structure and available infrastructure. Withrespect to travel patterns and mode choice, a gender perspective is included in the analyses. e resultsshow that the geographic and socio-economic structure of the labor market place time restrictions onpeople’s commuting behavior and as a consequence people’s daily reach in sparsely populated areas isrestricted. Geographical structure, available infrastructure, and socio-economic factors (such as education,employment, and family situation) are also found to restrict women’s access to the local labormarket to a greater extent than men’s. Furthermore, the study shows that the inclination to commutedeclines rapidly when commuting times exceed 45 minutes, regardless of gender, transport mode, andsocio-economic factors. Considering distances and the provision of public transport in sparsely populatedareas, the car is valued as the most optimal mode of transport when commuting. If regional growthis to be promoted by facilitating commuting over longer distances, a higher level of car dependency mustbe accepted in sparsely populated areas.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Minnesota, USA: Journal of Transport and Land Use , 2010. Vol. 2, no 3/4, 87-107 p.
Commuting; Travel time; Gender; Social sustainability; Regional development
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33744DOI: 10.5198/jtlu.v2i3.21OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-33744DiVA: diva2:317724