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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Information Technology and the Implications for Urban Transportation


Electronics and telecommunications are rapidly changing and are having significant impacts on social and economic activity, with major implications for transportation. Location of businesses and households may be altered as telecommunications options improve. Already, there is evidence that businesses have become less dependent on proximate locations as electronic links have become more effective alternatives to face-to-face communications. And while full-time telecommuting is relatively rare today, telecommunications systems do appear to enable many workers to “commute” from a home office on a part-time basis.

In an era when major physical infrastructure projects are increasingly hard to complete and yet travel demands have never been greater, information technology offers great promise in enhancing existing capacity with relatively minor adjustments to existing physical infrastructure. In implementing information technology, however, it is important to appreciate the political context. Seemingly ironic, learning from failure and improving on mistakes is actually crucial in technological innovation and progress.

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