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Forecasting Telecommuting: An Exploration of Methodologies and Research Needs

UCD-ITS-RP-96-02

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Suggested Citation:
Handy, Susan L. and Patricia L. Mokhtarian (1996) Forecasting Telecommuting: An Exploration of Methodologies and Research Needs. Transportation 23 (2), 163 - 190

Transportation planners increasingly recognize telecommuting as an important trend. But while they often advocate telecommuting as a transportation demand management strategy, transportation planners have made little progress toward incorporating telecommuting into transportation forecasts, at least partly because of the limited data available. In this paper we explore four alternative methodologies for forecasting telecommuting and discuss the kinds of data that must be collected before these methodologies can be applied. The first approach is trend extrapolation, using curves of technological substitution. Sufficient data are currently available to produce forecasts, albeit highly uncertain forecasts, using this approach. However, even with better data this approach does not address underlying factors and trends that will affect the future of telecommuting. As a result, we explore three additional approaches that should produce more reliable forecasts but which require new data and knowledge about telecommuting: analyzing the characteristics of telecommuters in contrast to nontelecommuters, analyzing factors affecting the individual choice to telecommute, and incorporating telecommuting into traditional transportation forecasting models.