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The impact of personal ICTs on mobility behavior : a study on the impact of personal ICTs on the amount of travel and mode choice using the first wave of the Dutch mobility panel

Zijlstra, Wiebe (2015) The impact of personal ICTs on mobility behavior : a study on the impact of personal ICTs on the amount of travel and mode choice using the first wave of the Dutch mobility panel.

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Abstract:The potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) to change our society, including mobility is evident. Both empirical and statistical research on the relation between ICTs and the amount of travel and mode choice requires continuous attention because of the rapid innovations related to both spectrums of that relation. Quantitative research that considers stateof- the-art personal ICTs like high speed mobile Internet (4G) or smartphones and tablets in relation to mobility is limited. In this research an attempt is made to contribute to the understanding of the relation between personal ICTs and the amount of travel and mode choice for long-distance homework trips with use of the first wave of the Dutch Mobility Panel. From the literature, current knowledge on the mobility aspects, modern day ICTs and understanding of the relations that might work between them are presented to provide context to the obtained results. Mechanisms like the fragmentation of activities, transport as a derived demand from activity patterns and travel time use are described because of their perceived importance in understanding the relation. The variation in the amount of travel, calculated in the average amount of trips per day, average travel distance per day and average distance per trip, is analyzed over groups with low, medium and high Internet use and tele-working frequencies. For the total amount of travel, the average trips per day and average distance per trip are significantly different over the groups with low, medium and high Internet use with respectively 3.3, 3.1 and 2.8 trips per day and 10.92, 13.40 and 15.39 kilometers per trip. Furthermore, when analyzing the total amount of travel over profiles considering age, work situation and Internet use the variations go in opposite directions between different profiles. For students the number of trips is higher for the groups with higher Internet use, while for the unemployed group of respondents the amount of travel is much lower for the group with high Internet use. This trend is also observed when only leisure or shopping trips are considered but with smaller variations and only with significant differences in the amount of trips per day. Tele-working from home decreases the number of commuter trips significantly, which makes sense. When another indicator for tele-working (working over distance via the Internet independent of location) is used, only the average travel distance per trip varies significantly with an increase from around 17 to 26 kilometers respectively for the groups with incidental and daily use of the Internet for the purpose of working over distance. Considering the relation between ICT and mode choice, the most comprehensive model in this research is able to explain 84.6% of the variation in mode choice between car and train for long distance home-work trips. The included ICT variables only explain 0.9% of the total variance. Furthermore, only tablet possession and interaction terms of age and Internet use and tablet possession and access to the Internet via 3G/4G LTE are showing significant effects. Owning a tablet increases the chance of a person choosing the car to complete long-distance home-work trips. Owning a tablet in combination with access to the Internet via 3G/4G increases the chance of a person choosing the train via the chosen method in this research. Additional time and research is required to link the observed variation to specific mechanisms like the improved ability to use travel time efficiently or fragmentation of activities as a result of modern ICTs. Considering the context of the relations, the interweaving of the digital and physical world and limiting technological determinism are extremely important to consider as starting points for any research on the complex relation of ICT and mobility. The complexity of the future relation between personal ICTs and mobility is expected to grow exponentially.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
KiM, The Netherlands Institute, the Netherlands
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/66751
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