Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 33: Telecommunications and travel
The relationships between transport and information and telecommunications technologies (ICTs) have received much attention over the past four decades. As both technologies facilitate remote activities, there has been much interest in the potential substitution of tele-activities for physical travel. However, alongside the substitution effects between transportation and ICTs, there is considerable evidence suggesting stimulation or generation effects as well. In other words, ICTs can stimulate more physical travel. Moreover, ICTs can change travel behaviour, not just the decision about the travel itself. ICTs are not considered just as possible substitutions for physical transport. They can offer tools to increase the quality of transportation networks and services. This, in turn, may have an additional, indirect effect on travel behaviour. Bearing in mind these relationships (substitution, generation and modification) the expected effects of ICTs in the transportation system become complex and multifaceted. In addition, the rapid and continuous technological developments have challenged scientific efforts to test such relationships as research has difficulties keeping up with the developments. The next section examines the potential for a substitution effect, followed by a review of other possible effects of ICTs on human activities in general and travel behaviour in particular.
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