Suggested Citation: Malokin, Aliaksandr, Giovanni Circella, Patricia L. Mokhtarian (2015) How Do Activities Conducted While Commuting Influence Mode Choice? Testing Public Transportation Advantage and Autonomous Vehicle Scenarios. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-15-40
From early studies of time allocation onward, it has been acknowledged that the “productive” nature of travel could affect its utility. At the margin, an individual may choose transit over a shorter automobile trip, if thereby she is able to use the travel time more productively. Alternatively, the recent advancements toward partly/fully automated vehicles are poised to revolutionize the perception and utilization of travel time in cars, and are further blurring the role of travel as a crisp transition between location-based activities. To quantify these effects, the authors created and administered a survey to measure multitasking attitudes and behavior while commuting, together with general attitudes, mode-specific perceptions, and standard socioeconomic traits (N = 2120 Northern California commuters). The authors present a revealed preference mode choice model that accounts for the impact of multitasking attitudes and behavior on the utility of various alternatives. The authors find that engaging in productive activities (i.e. electronic reading/writing and using a laptop/tablet) significantly influences utility and could account for a small but non-trivial portion of the current mode shares. For example, the model estimates that commuter rail and car/vanpool shares would respectively be 0.38 and 3.22 percentage points lower, and the drive-alone share 3.00 percentage points higher, if the option to use time productively while traveling were not available. Conversely, in a hypothetical autonomous vehicles scenario, where the car would allow a high level of engagement in productive activities, driving alone and car/vanpool shares increased by 0.95 percentage points and 1.08 percentage points, respectively.
Presented at Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 11-15, 2015