Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Xia Jin

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Albert Gan

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Mohammed Hadi

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

L. David Shen

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Zhenmin Chen

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

Transportation Planning, Telecommuting Estimation, Impact Analysis, Sample Selection, Structural Equations Model, Hazard Function

Date of Defense

6-16-2015

Abstract

The interest in telecommuting stems from the potential benefits in alleviating traffic congestion, decreasing vehicle miles traveled (VMT), and improving air quality by reducing the necessity for travel between home and the workplace. Despite the potential economic, environmental, and social benefits, telecommuting has not been widely adopted, and there is little consensus on the actual impacts of telecommuting. One of the major hurdles is lack of a sound instrument to quantify the impacts of telecommuting on individuals’ travel behavior. As a result, the telecommuting phenomenon has not received proper attention in most transportation planning and investment decisions, if not completely ignored.

This dissertation addresses the knowledge gap in telecommuting studies by examining several factors. First, it proposes a comprehensive outline to reveal and represent the complexity in telecommuting patterns. There are various types of telecommuting engagement, with different impacts on travel outcomes. It is necessary to identify and distinguish between those people for whom telecommuting involves a substitution of work travel and those for whom telecommuting is an ancillary activity. Secondly, it enhances the current modeling framework by supplementing the choice/frequency approach with daily telework dimensions, since the traditional approach fails to recognize the randomness of telecommuting engagement in a daily context.

A multi-stage modeling structure is developed, which incorporates choice, frequency, engagement, and commute, as the fundamental dimensions of telecommuting activity. One pioneering perspective of this methodology is that it identifies non-regular telecommuters, who represent a significant share of daily telecommuters. Lastly, advanced statistical modeling techniques are employed to measure the actual impacts of each telecommuting arrangement on travelers’ daily activity-travel behavior, focusing on time-use analysis and work trip departure times. This research provides a systematic and sound instrument that advances the understanding of the benefits and potentials of telecommuting and impacts on travel outcomes. It is expected to facilitate policy and decision makers with higher accuracy and contribute to the better design and analysis of transportation investment decisions.

Identifier

FIDC000118

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