Traffic pollution while commuting - Does commute mode matter? | The Meteorological Society of New Zealand

Traffic pollution while commuting - Does commute mode matter?

C.E. Peyroux
L.S. Bussen
S.B. Costello
K.N. Dirks

The transport microenvironment contributes significantly to the total daily air pollution of
people living in urban environments. This study uses carbon monoxide as a traffic pollution
indicator to compare the exposures associated with seven common transport modes (walking,
running, cycling, bus, train, car and motorised scooter) traversing a popular commuting route
in Auckland, New Zealand during the morning rush hour for one period of observation in
summer and one in winter. The results suggests that air pollution exposures for motorised
scooters are the highest of all modes. However, the overall air pollution dose associated with
the commute is low because of the short commute time. The active mode commuters
experienced the highest doses (the three highest of the seven modes in both summer and
winter). Strategies to ensure additional separation of the active mode commuters from the
main line of traffic are needed to help reduce the air pollution doses associated with active
modes and increase their modal share in a transport system that in currently highly cardominated.

Key words: travel mode, exposure, air pollution, urban

Correspondence: Kim Dirks,

Back to top