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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Impact of Telecommuting on Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Household Travel

  • Author(s): Pendyala, Ram M.
  • Goulias, Konstandinos G.
  • Kitamura, Ryuichi
  • et al.

A spatial and temporal analysis of travel diary data collected during the State of California Telecommuting Pilot project is performed to determine the impacts of telecommuting on household travel behavior. The analysis is based on geocoded trip data where missing trips and trip attributes have been augmented to the extent possible. The results confirm the earlier finding that the Pilot Project telecommuters substantially reduced travel; on telecommuting days, the telecommuters made virtually no commute trips, reduced peak-period trip making by 60%, vehicle miles traveled by 80%, and freeway use by 40%. The spatial analysis of the trip records has shown that the telecommuters chose non-work destinations that are closer to home; they exhibited contracted action spaces after the introduction of telecommuting. Importantly, this contraction took place on both telecommuting days and commuting days. The telecommuters distributed their trips over the day and avoided peak-period travel on telecommuting days. Non-work trips, however, show similar patterns of temporal distribution on telecommuting days and commuting days. Non-work trips continued to be made during the lunch period and late afternoon and evening hours. Telecommuter driving-age household members also exhibited contracted action spaces after the introduction of telecommuting. In addition, they did not show any significant increase in automobile use after telecommuting commenced.

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