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Emerging Travel Patterns: Do Telecommunications Make a Difference?

UCD-ITS-RP-02-20

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This chapter reviews empirical studies of the relationships between telecommunications and travel. The studies are classified into three approaches: macro-scale, micro-scale application-specific, and micro-scale comprehensive (activity-based). Within the second category we review the literature on the applications of telecommuting, teleconferencing, teleshopping, and the telephone. A diversity of relationships is identified, with some studies finding complementarity and others finding substitution. However, the preponderance of evidence suggests that the net impact is complementarity, and continued groWth in both telecommunications and travel should be expected. Hypotheses and directions for future research are discussed, including the need to further develop the comprehensive activity-based approach and to synthesize accounting exercises with behavioral modeling approaches to yield causal forecasts of the impacts of telecommunications on travel.
Published in Perpetual Motion: Travel Behavior Research Opportunities and Application Challenges, ed. H.S. Mahmassani, Elsevier Science Ltd., chapter 7.