TRANTIME: One-way time or average time


I am looking at TRANTIME for workers. My question is: do respondents answer the average commuting time to work in last week? Say, if they work three days on site, does the TRANTIME equal to 3*one-way time/5?

I asked this because I noticed in the 2022 data, the distribution of TRANTIME shits to the left and wonder about the reasons. To rule out the impact of workers WFH, I plot the distribution of positive values and the pattern is still the same.

Thanks in advance!

The questionnaire tab for TRANTIME provides the exact text for this question. You can also find this question in the ACS enumeration form:

  1. How many minutes did it usually take this person to get from home to work LAST WEEK?

The question is phrased using the qualifier “usually”, meaning that the respondent is asked to evaluate a set of travel times from the previous week to determine what the usual travel time was. The ACS is self-administered, meaning that respondents are liable to misinterpret any of the questions. However, additional instructions for this question were provided to respondents prior to 2017 (see #34 in the enumerator instructions). These instructions state to “enter a one-way commute time for this person’s usual daily commute from home to work last week. Include time waiting for public transportation or picking up passengers in a carpool.”