JeffAllenaMatthewPalmb IgnacioTiznado-Aitkenb StevenFarberb
There is growing body of research and practice assessing transportation equity and justice. Commuting is an especially important dimension to study since such frequent, non-discretionary travel, can come at the expense of time for other activities and therefore negatively impact mental health and well-being. An ”extreme commuter” is a worker who has a particularly burdensome commute, and has previously been defined based on one-way commute times above 60 or 90 minutes. In this paper, we examine the social and geographic inequalities of extreme commuting in Canada. We use a 25% sample of all commuters in Canada in 2016 (n = 4,543,417) and our analysis consists of descriptive statistics and logistic regression models. The average one-way commute time in 2016 across Canada was 26 minutes, but over 9.7% of the workforce had commute times exceeding 60 minutes. However, this rate of extreme commuting was 11.5% for low-income households, 13.5% for immigrants, and 13.4% among non-white Canadians, reaching as high as 18.6% for Black Canadians and 14.7% for Latin American Canadians specifically. We find that these inequalities persist even after controlling for household factors, commute mode, occupation, and built environment characteristics. The persistently significant effects of race in our models point to factors like housing and employment discrimination as possible contributors to extreme commuting. These results highlight commuting disparities at a national scale prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and represents clear evidence of structural marginalization contributing to racialized inequalities in the critical metric of daily commute times seldom recognized by Canadian scholars and planners.