Using Longitudinal Methods for Analysis of a Short-Term Transportation Demonstration Project
This paper documents an application of panel, or longitudinal data collection in the evaluation of a TSM (Transportation Systems Management) demonstration project. The project was a four-week demonstration of staggered work hours in downtown Honolulu during February-March 1988. The 4 wave panel survey elicited commuting experiences of approximately 2,000 downtown employees at two week intervals before and during the project. The sample involved both employees who participated in the project by shifting their work hours, and those who did not. The panel survey was augmented by floating0car observations of travel times on major routes into downtown Honolulu on the same four dates.
The purpose of the analysis was to determine whether employee commute times were affected, and if so, how these changes were distributed among various employee segments. Two methods were used. First, travel time changes were estimated using paired t-tests. Second, regression equations were used to estimate project time savings as a function of trip length, route, and location of residence. Results show that travel time savings due to the project were typically small, less than ten percent. Nonparticipants experienced greater savings than participants, and some segments of participants experienced longer travel times during the project. The panel method proved to be an effective way to measure project travel time impacts and shows that the method is appropriate in short time applications.