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How Local Is Travel?



This paper analyzes the distribution of travel time across different classes of roads for 47 subjects in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. We use global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) data to analyze subject road use, with the objective of getting a sense for how much time individuals spend on different types of roads during their commute trip (in a sense, how ÒlocalizedÓ their travel is). The results reveal an association between the amounts of time spent on various functional classes of roads and home and work locations. Subjects that live and work in the city of Minneapolis are found to spend a higher percentage of their travel time on lower-level (city and county) roads. The results may be used to further inform local road finance decisions in light of the free-rider problem and other problems associated with current financing mechanisms.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Scharenbroich & Michael Iacono & David Levinson, 2009. "How Local Is Travel?," Working Papers 000058, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:howlocalistravel

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Levinson & Ramachandra Karamalaputi, 2003. "Induced Supply: A Model of Highway Network Expansion at the Microscopic Level," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 37(3), pages 297-318, September.
    2. Pavithra Parthasarathi & David M. Levinson & Ramachandra Karamalaputi, 2003. "Induced Demand: A Microscopic Perspective," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 40(7), pages 1335-1351, June.
    3. Maruyama, Takuya & Sumalee, Agachai, 2007. "Efficiency and equity comparison of cordon- and area-based road pricing schemes using a trip-chain equilibrium model," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 655-671, August.
    4. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
    5. Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-479, June.
    6. Yang, Hai & Meng, Qiang, 1998. "Departure time, route choice and congestion toll in a queuing network with elastic demand," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 247-260, May.
    7. Yang, Hai & Huang, Hai-Jun, 1998. "Principle of marginal-cost pricing: how does it work in a general road network?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 45-54, January.
    8. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1993. "A Structural Model of Peak-Period Congestion: A Traffic Bottleneck with Elastic Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 161-179, March.
    9. Daganzo, Carlos F., 2007. "Urban gridlock: Macroscopic modeling and mitigation approaches," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 49-62, January.
    10. Geroliminis, Nikolaos, 2007. "Increasing mobility in cities by controlling overcrowding," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt5wg9j6z7, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    11. David Levinson & Andrew Odlyzko, 2007. "Too Expensive to Meter: The influence of transaction costs in transportation and communication," Working Papers 200802, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group, revised Feb 2007.
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    More about this item


    Travel Behavior; Transportation Ð Finance; Global Positioning Systems (GPS);

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
    • R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock

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