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The Impact on Mode Choice of Activities Conducted while Commuting: Testing Transit-Advantage and Autonomous-Vehicle Scenarios

Date: 08/20/2014, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Speaker: Patricia Mokhtarian; Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Organization: Georgia Institute of Technology
OST-R Office: Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)


From early studies of time allocation onward, it has been acknowledged that the “productive” nature of an activity such as travel could affect its utility. At the margin, an individual may choose transit over the automobile for a given trip, even though the transit alternative takes longer, if thereby s/he is able to use the travel time more productively. Alternatively, the recent advancements toward partly/fully automated vehicles are poised to revolutionize the perception and utilization of travel time in cars, and are further blurring the role of travel as a crisp transition between location-based activities.

This talk presents a revealed preference mode choice model that accounts for the impact of multitasking attitudes and behavior on the utility of various alternatives. It has been discovered that engaging in productive activities (i.e. electronic reading/writing and using a laptop/tablet) significantly influences utility, and could account for a small but non-trivial portion of the current mode shares.


Patricia MokhtarianPatricia Mokhtarian is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has specialized in the study of travel behavior for more than 35 years.  Key research interests include the impacts of land use on travel behavior, the impact of telecom­munications technology on travel behavior, commuters’ responses to congestion or to system disruptions, attitudes toward mobility, and travel multitasking. 

Sponsored by: The Office of Research and Technology (OST-R), University Transportation Centers Program

DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, findings and conclusions reflected in this presentation are the responsibility of the authors only and do not represent the official policy or position of the USDOT/OST-R, or any State or other entity.”

For more information, contact Denise E. Dunn at

Last updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017