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A Synthetic Approach to Estimating the Impacts of Telecommuting on Travel


  • Patricia L. Mokhtarian

    (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California Davis, CA 95616, USA,


A multiplicative model is proposed as a framework for examining the current knowledge in forecasting the demand for telecommuting and the resulting transport impacts. A running illustrative example (containing a base and a future case) is developed, using plausible values for each factor in the model. The base case suggests that 6.1 per cent of the workforce may be currently telecommuting, with 1.5 per cent doing so on any given day, eliminating at most 1 per cent of total household vehicle-miles travelled. Future reductions could be smaller as commute distances of telecommuters become more average and as the stimulation effect of telecommuting grows. In any event, it is likely that—due to counteracting forces—the aggregate travel impacts will remain relatively flat into the future, even if the amount of telecommuting increases considerably.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia L. Mokhtarian, 1998. "A Synthetic Approach to Estimating the Impacts of Telecommuting on Travel," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 35(2), pages 215-241, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:35:y:1998:i:2:p:215-241

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    Cited by:

    1. Choo, Sangho, 2003. "Aggregate Relationships between Telecommunications and Travel: Structural Equation Modeling of Time Series Data," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4p78h623, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Patricia Mokhtarian & Ilan Salomon & Sangho Choo, 2005. "Measuring the Measurable: Why can’t we Agree on the Number of Telecommuters in the U.S.?," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 423-452, August.
    3. Mokhtarian, Patricia L. & Bagley, Michael N., 2000. "Modeling employees' perceptions and proportional preferences of work locations: the regular workplace and telecommuting alternatives," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 223-242, May.
    4. repec:eee:transa:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:1-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:kap:transp:v:45:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11116-017-9846-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Leistritz, F. Larry & Sell, Randall S., 1998. "In-Migrants To North Dakota: A Socioeconomic Profile; Summary," Agricultural Economics Reports 23224, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
    7. Leistritz, F. Larry & Sell, Randall S., 1998. "In-Migrants To North Dakota: A Socioeconomic Profile," Agricultural Economics Reports 23353, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
    8. repec:kap:transp:v:45:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11116-017-9789-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Seung-Nam Kim, 2016. "Two traditional questions on the relationships between telecommuting, job and residential location, and household travel: revisited using a path analysis," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 56(2), pages 537-563, March.
    10. Shafizadeh, Kevan R. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L. & Niemeier, Debbie A. & Salomon, Ilan, 2000. "The Costs and Benefits of Home-Based Telecommuting," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt49c1n7hg, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    11. Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2004. "Reducing road congestion: a reality check--a comment," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 183-184, April.
    12. Pascal Pochet & Patricia Lejoux & Minming Chen, 2017. "Les actifs à mobilité atypique pour le travail à travers l’Enquête déplacements régionale Rhône-Alpes 2012-2015
      [Les actifs à mobilité atypique pour le travail à travers l'Enquête déplacements régi
      ," Working Papers halshs-01702558, HAL.
    13. Mokhtarian, Patricia L & Salomon, Ilan & Choo, Sangho, 2004. "Data and Measurement Issues in Transportation, With Telecommuting as a Case Study," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt9pt8s9jv, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    14. Patricia L Mokhtarian & Gustavo O Collantes & Carsten Gertz, 2004. "Telecommuting, residential location, and commute-distance traveled: evidence from State of California employees," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(10), pages 1877-1897, October.

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