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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Measuring the impact of efficient household travel decisions on potential travel time savings and accessibility gains


Using the conceptual framework of time-space geography, this paper incorporates both spatio-temporal constraints and household interaction effects into a meaningful measure of the potential of a household to interact with the built environment. Within this context, personal accessibility is described as a measure of the potential ability of individuals within a household not only to reach activity opportunities, but to do so with sufficient time available for participation in those activities, subject to the spatio-temporal constraints imposed by their daily obligations and transportation supply environment. The incorporation of activity-based concepts in the measurement of accessibility as a product of travel time savings not only explicitly acknowledges a temporal dimension in assessing the potential for spatial interaction but also expands the applicability of accessibility consideration to such real-world policy options as the promotion of ride-sharing and trip chaining behaviors. An empirical application of the model system provides an indication of the potential of activity-based modeling approaches to assess the bounds on achievable improvements in accessibility and travel time based on daily household activity patterns. It also provides an assessment of roles for trip chaining and ride-sharing as potentially effective methods to facilitate transportation policy objectives.

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