NUIG study: Dublin pay levels no match for commuting costs
Research finds Galway employees also hit by high expense of travel to work
Traffic disruption on the M7 motorway. Increase in car ownership and commuting during the boom was highest in the greater Dublin area. Photograph: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland
Higher income levels among those employed in the greater Dublin area do not compensate for the cost of commuting, a study by NUI Galway (NUIG) has found.
The research, published by NUIG’s Whitaker Institute as a policy paper on Monday, analysed the socio-economic impact of the commuting belts which expanded during the economic “boom” years before 2007.
The substantial increase in car ownership and commuting during that period was highest in the greater Dublin area, with an unprecedented increase in both employment and private car registrations, the study notes.
While employment dropped by 6 per cent overall during the recession from 2008, there was a continued increase in suburbanisation around the main Irish cities.
Widening commuter belt
In Dublin’s case, the belt extended to Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. Not surprisingly, the study finds that residents in the first two of these three counties experienced the largest financial impact of commuting, relative to employment income.
Further analysis found other Irish cities with high net commuting costs as a percentage of income, with those living in the commuter hinterland of Galway significantly affected.
The relative impact is “significantly lower” outside primary commuting belts, particularly in smaller towns and rural areas, the study finds.
Dr Vega, and fellow authors Paul Kilgariff, Cathal O’Donoghue and Karyn Morrissy, note that the census is the only nationwide source of information on commuting patterns, but it does not include information on individual income.
They decided to take three sub-samples of population from the census, and calculated the subjective value of travel time.
They combined this with data from the Simulation Model for the Irish Local Economy (Smile), published by Teagasc, which has employment income data for each individual.
WarningsRegional Studies AssociationWestern Development Commission
The capital was “the same in size and population terms as the next 40 towns and cities combined in Ireland, ” Mr Hogan said, which was “possibly unique” outside city states such as Singapore.