Telecommuting and sustainable travel

15th Jun 2017

Telecommuting and sustainable travel: Reduction of overall travel time, increases in non-motorised travel and congestion relief?

A new article available online by Ugo Lachapelle, Georges A Tanguay and Léa Neumark-Gaudet


Existing research has concluded that shares of telecommuting are low but stable, increase with distance from the workplace and that telecommuting may reduce commuting-related travel. Its effect on work and non-work travel are subject to rebound effects and, thus, still debated. Additionally, telecommuting does not necessarily occur entirely at home. The paper studies telecommuting’s potential as a sustainable mobility tool in Canada to reduce overall travel time and peak hour travel, and to increase non-motorised travel. Do types of telecommuting arrangements have varying relationships with these studied travel patterns? Using time use data from the 2005 Canadian General Social Survey, studied outcomes are regressed on telecommuting arrangements (all day home working, part-day home working and a combination of other locations and home and/or workplace) and other personal characteristics. Depending on telecommuting arrangements and travel outcomes, results vary. Working from home is associated with decreases in overall travel time by 14 minutes and increases in odds of non-motorised travel by 77%. Other forms of telecommuting yield different results. Telecommuters may be more likely to avoid peak hours when they do take trips. Types of telecommuting arrangements have different impacts on sustainable travel outcomes that should be considered depending on policy priorities.

Read the full article here



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