Publication Detail

Technical Memo 1: Estimates of Current Levels of Telecommuting in California


Research Report

Suggested Citation:
Handy, Susan L. and Patricia L. Mokhtarian (1993) Technical Memo 1: Estimates of Current Levels of Telecommuting in California. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-93-14

The first step in forecasting future levels of telecommuting in California and its transportation, energy, and air quality impacts involves estimating current levels of telecommuting in the State. Because no definitive data source exists, a number of sources are used to generate a probable range within which current levels fall. These sources, described in more detail in Appendix A, differ not only in the size and selection of the sample, but also in the method used to identify telecommuters or telecommuting occasions, so that no two sources are directly comparable. While the Caltrans travel survey conducted in 1991 provides the most appropriate and most reliable estimate of telecommuting, each source contributes to an understanding of the probable range of telecommuting.

The primary interest of this research is home telecommuters, that is, those workers who would normally work elsewhere but choose to work at home on occasion, thus eliminating commute trips. Most definitions of telecommuting include workers who replace a commute to a nearby "telecenter" for a commute to a more distant work site. Because the available data sources do not provide any way to distinguish telecenter-based telecommuters from regular commuters, the focus of this report is on home-based telecommuters only.
Prepared for the California Energy Commission.