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Impacts of Center-Based Telecommuting on Travel and Emissions: Analysis of the Puget Sound Demonstration Project

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  • Henderson, Dennis
  • Mohktarian, Patricia

Abstract

Center-based telecommuting has many hypothesized benefits. To determine its value as a transportation demand management strategy, however, its travel-related benefits must be established quantitatively. This research provides the first analysis of the impacts of center-based telecommuting on individual travel behavior and emissions, using travel diary data from the Puget Sound Telecommuting Demonstration Project. An analysis of personal vehicle usage for this small sample of workers showed that the number of vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) was reduced significantly as a result of center-based telecommuting (from 63.25 miles per person-day on non-telecommuting days to 29.31 miles on telecommuting days). The reductions in weekday VMT comprise significant reductions in commute-related VMT with insignificant changes in non-commute-related VMT. The number of personal vehicle trips did not change significantly. In essence, center-based telecommuters behave as conventional commuters in terms of their number of trips, but are more similar to home-based telecommuters in terms of VMT reductions. The significant reduction in VMT translates into a 49% decrease in oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions and a 53% decrease in particulate matter (PM) emissions comparing telecommuting days to non-telecommuting days for the small sample. Because the number of daily trips was not impacted by telecommuting, the levels of emissions associated with the cold start process, total organic gases (TOG) and carbon monoxide (CO), were essentially unaffected. Of course, region-wide impacts will be much smaller when the proportion of telecommuters in the workforce and the frequency of telecommuting is considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Henderson, Dennis & Mohktarian, Patricia, 1996. "Impacts of Center-Based Telecommuting on Travel and Emissions: Analysis of the Puget Sound Demonstration Project," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt3tt6d46w, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:itsdav:qt3tt6d46w
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    1. Henderson, Dennis K & Koenig, Brett E & Mokhtarian, Patricia L, 1994. "Travel Diary-Based Emissions Analysis of Telecommuting for the Puget Sound Demonstration Project," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt2z43f74h, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    2. Henderson, Dennis K. & Koenig, Brett E. & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 1996. "Using Travel Diary Data to Estimate the Emissions Impacts of Transportation Strategies: The Puget Sound Telecommuting Demonstration Project," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt0g01v83p, University of California Transportation Center.
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    1. repec:eee:jotrge:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:11-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Walls, Margaret & Safirova, Elena, 2004. "A Review of the Literature on Telecommuting and Its Implications for Vehicle Travel and Emissions," Discussion Papers dp-04-44, Resources For the Future.
    3. repec:kap:transp:v:45:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11116-017-9846-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bhat, Chandra R. & Sivakumar, Aruna & Axhausen, Kay W., 2003. "An analysis of the impact of information and communication technologies on non-maintenance shopping activities," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 857-881, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Golob, Thomas F., 2002. "travelbehavior.com - Activity Approaches to Modeling the Effects of Information Technology on Personal Travel Behavior," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9t40s1mc, University of California Transportation Center.
    7. Mokhtarian, Patricia & Varma, Krishna, 1998. "The Trade-Off Between Trips and Distance Traveled in Analyzing the Emissions Impacts of Center-Based Telecommuting," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt43b756qg, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    8. Walls, Margaret & Safirova, Elena, 2004. "A Review of the Literature on Telecommuting and Its Implications for Vehicle Travel and Emissions," Discussion Papers 10492, Resources for the Future.
    9. Dissanayake, Dilum & Morikawa, Takayuki, 2008. "Impact assessment of satellite centre-based telecommuting on travel and air quality in developing countries by exploring the link between travel behaviour and urban form," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 883-894, July.
    10. repec:kap:transp:v:45:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11116-017-9792-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Balepur, Prashant Narayan, 1998. "Impacts of Computer-Mediated Communication on Travel and Communication Patterns: The Davis Community Network Study," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt6cb1f85c, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    12. Graham-Rowe, Ella & Skippon, Stephen & Gardner, Benjamin & Abraham, Charles, 2011. "Can we reduce car use and, if so, how? A review of available evidence," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 401-418, June.
    13. Margaret Walls & Peter Nelson & Elena Safirova, 2005. "Telecommuting and environmental policy - lessons from the Ecommute program," ERSA conference papers ersa05p801, European Regional Science Association.
    14. repec:eee:jotrge:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:83-97 is not listed on IDEAS

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