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Telecommuting and Travel: State of the Practice, State of the Art

UCD-ITS-RP-91-34

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Suggested Citation:
Mokhtarian, Patricia L. (1991) Telecommuting and Travel: State of the Practice, State of the Art. Transportation 18 (4), 319 - 342

This paper provides an overview of the status of telecommuting in the United States, especially as it relates to changes in travel behavior. Regarding the state of the practice, the paper discusses some refinements to the definition of telecommuting that have developed through increased operational experience. It reports several policy statements involving telecommuting, and explores the appeal of telecommuting as a public policy instrument. It highlights some trends in the implementation of home-based and work center-based telecommuting, and suggests that visible public-sector involvement has been crucial to the increased activity in this area.

In sketching the state of the art, the paper outlines some frequently-stated hypotheses on telecommuting and travel behavior, and summarizes current empirical findings relating to those hypotheses. Finally, it suggests a variety of topics suitable for further research. These include studying factors influencing the ultimate adoption levels of telecommuting; impacts on energy/air quality, mode choice, and location/urban form; interactions with other transportation demand management strategies; relationships to the traditional urban travel demand forecasting process; cost/benefit tradeoffs; and telecommuting centers.