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The Rational Locator: Why Travel Times Have Remained Stable

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Author Info

  • David Levinson

    ()
    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

  • Ajay Kumar

Abstract

This paper evaluates household travel surveys for the Washington metropolitan region conducted in 1968 and 1988, and shows that commuting times remain stable or decline over the twenty year period despite an increase in average travel distance, after controlling for trip purpose and mode of travel. The average automobile work-to-home time of 32.5 minutes in both 1968 and 1988 is, moreover, very consistent with a 1957 survey showing an average time of 33.5 minutes in metropolitan Washington. Average trip speeds increased by more than 20 percent, countering the effect of increased travel distance. This change was observed during a period of rapid suburban growth in the region. With the changing distributional composition of trip origins and destinations, overall travel times have remained relatively constant. The hypothesis that jobs and housing mutually co-locate to optimize travel times is lent further support by these data. .

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File URL: http://nexus.umn.edu/Papers/RationalLocator.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 199402.

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Date of creation: 1994
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of the American Planning Association , Summer 1994 60:3 319-332.
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:rationallocator

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Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: +01 (612) 625-6354
Fax: +01 (612) 626-7750
Web page: http://nexus.umn.edu
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