Read the original article here on OregonLive.com.
To paraphrase the great highway traveler Clark W. Griswold, bicyclists are the hap, hap, happiest commuters since Bing Crosby pedaled with Danny Kay.
A new study by Portland State University urban studies doctoral candidate Oliver Smith found that getting to work via “active transportation” – e.g., under your own power – “increases commute well-being, even when controlling for distance, income and other factors.”
A survey of 828 commuters in January and February 2012 showed that bicyclists beat out walkers on Smith’s “commute well-being” index, followed by TriMet express bus riders, light rail users, carpoolers, bus commuters and people who drive alone.
And just think, I usually bike to work to avoid paying $12 a day in parking and gas.
Last week, as Bike Portland reported, he was among several PSU grad students who gathered at a local brewpub to talk about their “pilgrimage” to the TRB.
In a nutshell, Smith’s research found:
Traffic congestion reduces commute well-being for car and bus commuters, but not bike commuters. Efforts to encourage greater adoption of non-motorized modes could be enhanced by noting commute happiness as a benefit of biking and walking to work.
You can dig deeper into the geeky details, including the “OLS regression summary,” by checking out the poster that OTREC created to illustrate Smith’s findings.(PDF)
So, based on this information, solo drivers and bus riders are the least happy commuters.
And the latest U.S. Census data shows that 71.3 percent of daily commuters in the Portland metro area drive alone, while 6.3 percent take public transportation and 2.3 percent bike. (In Portland proper, 58 percent drive to work alone and about 6 percent bike.)
Maybe it’s not the weather that makes us such a gloomy tribe.
In other commuting stuff:
Business Insider: Americans Have Stopped Driving More, And No One Is Sure Why.