The relation between daily travel and use of the home computer

Randi Johanne Hjorthol


On the basis of the Norwegian national personal travel survey (NPTS) 1997/98 and a connected mail back survey of the use of information – and communication technology at home, the relation between mobility and use of stationary communication has been studied. On the basis of these results we cannot see any direct substitutionary effects of the use of stationary technology at people's home on the use of mobile technology. Access to and use of information technology seems not to have a significant impact on travel activities in everyday life. Stationary communication seems to be a supplement to activities based on mobile technology. For people who work more than “normal” weekly working hours, stationary technology seems to give them greater flexibility in regard to where to work, but it does not necessarily reduce their travel activity. There is a tendency that people who own home computers make less work trips, but this does not affect the total number of daily trips. The spatial flexibility give a temporal flexibility, which means that work trips and other trips can be more dispersed over the day than is the situation today. The positive consequence can be a reduction in the rush-hour traffic; the negative is that it is more difficult to offer a high frequent public transport service when travel needs are more spread in time. Ownership and use of both mobile and stationary technologies are unequally distributed. Men, people with high education and income are the most frequent owners and users.