I’ll have to drive there: How daily time constraints impact women’s car use differently than men’s

Date: 1/2/2019
Principal Researchers: Manish Shirgaokar
Kelly Lanyi-Bennett

In January 2019, Urban and Regional Planning Assistant Professor Manish Shirgaokar published an article in Transportation about the influence of gender on car use. Women spend more time driving in general, possibly as a result of having more home-serving tasks such as chauffeuring children, and miscellaneous errands.  The full article, "I’ll have to drive there: How daily time constraints impact women’s car use differently than men’s" is available online here


Women, compared to men, spend more time on home-serving tasks. This might leave women with less time for other activities including daily travel, which can further limit their travel choices. Though the impacts of gender and family structure on work and non-work travel have been investigated, daily time constraints and their implications for travel are less well understood. We address this gap by employing mixed-methods. In the first phase, we use non-probabilistic purposive sampling and conduct focus groups to explore how professional women and men think about daily time use in relation to transportation choices. In the second phase, we rely on Canada’s 2015 General Social Survey (Cycle 29: Time use) and use daily time spent driving or riding as a passenger in an automobile as outcome variables. We specify weighted robust regression models to examine differences by gender using six sets of controls, namely, individual characteristics, household attributes, full-day time use profile, travel, and location factors. Our findings confirm that women spend more time than men on home-serving tasks including shopping and taking care of children/other adults. When we compare women and men who spend the same hours per day in paid work/getting an education, holding everything else constant, women spend more time driving. This research underscores the importance of gendered travel in relation to policies such as flex time and transportation options for complex trip making.

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