Telework and Sustainable Travel During the COVID-19 Era
58 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020 Last revised: 29 Oct 2020
Date Written: June 29, 2020
This working paper explores how working from home (e.g. telework) may or may not have changed daily travel--both how and why you go places. This is of particular importance in light of mandated work from home events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. While total driving and vehicle-miles-traveled may have declined slightly due to telework and shelter-in-place orders that reduced work-based trips, data illustrates an increase in total trips from 3.97 to 4.45 in total and that these additional 26% of trips have been induced by working from home. This means that while VMT and the share of driving may have declined, the number of trips and engine cold starts may have gone up. This provides a cautionary lesson to planners and engineers seeking to address climate and congestion goals through telework efforts and underscores the importance of thinking critically about the future of urban development, transit and behavioral strategies.
Keywords: COVID-19, telework, travel behavior, mode substitution
JEL Classification: R40, Z18, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation