Using virtual accessibility and physical accessibility as joint predictors of activity-travel behavior

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Dai, Qichun

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This study proposes a conceptual and analytic framework anchored on the concepts of physical and virtual accessibility (the “ease” with which opportunities or activities can be reached in the physical and in the virtual space, respectively) to investigate the rich interplay between virtual and physical activity engagements in multiple activity purposes, while controlling for information and communication technology (ICT) use measures, physical accessibility measures, and demographics. The framework considers that activity-travel choices are consequences of the individual, household, and work characteristics that are mediated by virtual accessibility and physical accessibility. As part of the analysis, activity chaining characteristics during travel are analyzed to study any fragmentation impacts caused by ICT use on activity engagement and scheduling. Using the data from the 2011 and 2012 National Travel Survey in Great Britain, this research applies Bhat’s (2015) generalized heterogeneous data model (GHDM) to jointly model multiple activity and travel outcomes. The results provide important insights for social welfare, work-life balance, and equity policies, and suggest the possible use of virtual accessibility as a quality-of-life enhancing instrument.


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