Blog Archives

Does telecommuting alter travel behavior and residential choice?

telecommutingThe potential of telecommuting to alter travel patterns—and even mitigate congestion during peak hours—has sparked interest among transportation planners. Despite this potential, however, the actual impact of telecommuting on traffic has remained an open question.

In a recent study, U of M researchers examined the impacts of telecommuting on travel behavior in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. One key finding: regular, non-daily telecommuting is on the rise. While those who telecommuted every day dropped, the number of people who telecommuted once a week or more increased.

Posted in Planning, Transportation research, Travel Behavior, Urban transportation

Men and women have different travel behavior—which has implications for policymakers

Woman loading car with shopping bags
Despite having more similar roles at home and work than ever before, U.S. men and women continue to have different travel behavior. Employed men spend more time commuting and less time on errands and other household support trips than women do. What causes the difference?

Researchers led by Yingling Fan, associate professor in the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, tested competing theories. They analyzed publicly available data in various ways across groups of workers with different types of family structures.

Posted in Traffic data, Transportation research, Travel Behavior

Census report looks at U.S. commuting patterns; U of M report analyzes Twin Cities’ patterns

Evening Skyline, Minneapolis

A recent report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau looks at commuting patterns by U.S. workers in 2013 using data from the American Community Survey. It highlights differences in rates of automobile commuting by key population characteristics such as age, race, ethnicity, and the types of communities in which workers live.

You can also find an extensive analysis of commuting behavior that was produced locally. In a recent multifaceted study sponsored by the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, U of M researchers analyzed travel behavior over time in the Twin Cities.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Economics, Land use, Planning, Transportation research, Travel Behavior, Urban transportation

New video highlights how U of M transportation research makes a difference

CTS aired a new video—”How does University of Minnesota research make a difference?”—at our Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon on April 6. The video highlights research initiatives from 2014-2015, including projects focused on flashing left-turn signals at intersections, “self-healing” pavement, and transit amenities.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Environment, Freight, Infrastructure, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Land use, Pavements, Planning, Public transit, Technology, Transportation research, Travel Behavior, Urban transportation

Better job accessibility drives MnPASS subscriptions

interstateIn recent years, many metropolitan-area highway systems have created high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. Typically, the use of these lanes is restricted during peak periods to carpools and those paying a toll for access, which commonly requires enrollment in an electronic tolling program and the use of an electronic transponder.

To better understand why drivers enroll in Minnesota’s MnPASS electronic tolling system, University of Minnesota researchers investigated the factors that drive subscriptions. Their findings indicate that households are more likely to have MnPASS subscriptions in areas where the MnPASS system provides a greater increase in accessibility to jobs.

Posted in Technology, Transportation research, Travel Behavior, Uncategorized, Urban transportation

Travel behavior study shows drivers are spending less time traveling and more time at home

travelbehaviorSomething unprecedented has happened to Americans’ travel patterns. Even before the recent recession, total distance traveled per person had started to decline, and the rate of total vehicle travel had begun to steadily decrease as well.

In a new five-part series of research reports sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Council, U of M researchers are delving into a set of rich data encompassing more than four decades of travel behavior surveys to enable the region’s transportation planners to better understand how its residents make decisions about whether, when, where, and why to travel.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Planning, Transportation research, Travel Behavior

Will rising trip productivity change travel choices?

TravelA common assumption among transportation planners is that commuters want to minimize their travel time—and that they’ll pay good money to do so. But what if the ability to multitask while traveling alters that choice? Commuters might pick transit over a car—even when the transit alternative takes longer—if it allows them to use their travel time more productively.

“Multitasking is a hallmark of modern life that has the potential to impact not just our transportation behavior but also our location behavior,” says Patricia Mokhtarian, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

At the CTS Fall Luncheon in December, Mokhtarian discussed her latest research that sheds light on the impact of multitasking behaviors and attitudes on commuters’ mode choice.

Posted in Events, Planning, Public transit, Technology, Transportation research, Travel Behavior
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