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1.
Transp Res Part A Policy Pract ; 173: 103703, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2327878

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a seismic shift in the way in which work is conducted. Remote working or working from home is becoming a centrepiece of the next normal with strong support from both employers and employees. With reduced commuting activity associated with an expected 1 to 2 days working from home for many occupations and industries, associated with releasing commuting time to spend on other activities including changed levels and patterns on non-commuting travel, it is necessary, indeed essential, to allow for the incidence of working from home in integrated strategic transport and location model systems. In this paper we show the extent of changes in travel behaviour and the performance of the transport network before and after allowing for working from home, which is more impactful than any new infrastructure project. The differences are significant and suggest that even within the existing modelling frameworks used pre-COVID-19, we need to make adjustments in the modal activity overall and by location. Using the MetroScan platform in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan area, we present a number of outputs to illustrate the significant impacts of working from home such as modal activity (total and shares), emissions, government revenues, and generalised cost of travel.

2.
Transp Policy (Oxf) ; 130: 184-195, 2023 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2120106

ABSTRACT

There exists a substantial amount of research on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on significant changes in the location at which work takes place, especially working from home (WFH). There has been, however, very little systematic consideration given to the relationship between the substantial increase in WFH and the responses taken by organisations in reviewing their office (workspace) capacity needs in the future, including a switch of the mix of utilising workspace in the main office(s) and satellite office locations. The main aim of this paper is to explore the extent to which levels of working from home and increased use of rented satellite office space will be linked to changes in the amount of workspace required at the main office that was used pre-COVID-19. Using data from 459 businesses for three periods for pre-COVID-19, April 2022 (25 months after the outbreak of the pandemic) and stated intentions for 2023, we develop a random effects regression model for the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area in which we identify some of the influences on the downsizing or not of the main office(s) work space, and comment on what we see as the most likely scenario for WFH and work space in the main office and rented satellite office space under the 'next normal'. The findings can be used to inform future commuting travel as well as changes in land use activity at specific locations, including possible reallocation of existing office space to other activity uses.

3.
Transp Res Part A Policy Pract ; 155: 179-201, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612064

ABSTRACT

The need to recognise and account for the influence of working from home on commuting activity has never been so real as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only does this change the performance of the transport network, it also means that the way in which transport modellers and planners use models estimated on a typical weekday of travel and expand it up to the week and the year must be questioned and appropriately revised to adjust for the quantum of working from home. Although teleworking is not a new phenomenon, what is new is the ferocity by which it has been imposed on individuals throughout the world, and the expectation that working from home is no longer a temporary phenomenon but one that is likely to continue to some non-marginal extent given its acceptance and revealed preferences from both many employees and employ where working from home makes good sense. This paper formalises the relationship between working from home and commuting by day of the week and time of day for two large metropolitan areas in Australia, Brisbane and Sydney, using a mixed logit choice model, identifying the influences on such choices together with a mapping model between the probability of working from home and socioeconomic and other contextual influences that are commonly used in strategic transport models to predict demand for various modes by location. The findings, based on Wave 3 (approximately 6 months from the initial outbreak of the pandemic) of an ongoing data collection exercise, provide the first formal evidence for Australia in enabling transport planners to adjust their predicted modal shares and overall modal travel activity for the presence of working from home.

4.
Transp Res Part A Policy Pract ; 148: 64-78, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164544

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we go about our daily lives in ways that are unlikely to return to the pre-COVID-19 levels. A key feature of the COVID-19 era is likely to be a rethink of the way we work and the implications this may have on commuting activity. Working from home (WFH) has been the 'new normal' during the period of lockdown, except for essential services that require commuting. In recognition of the new normal as represented by an increasing amount of WFH, this paper develops a model to identify the incidence of WFH and what impact this could have on the amount of weekly one-way commuting trips by car and public transport. Using Wave 1 of an ongoing data collection effort done at the height of the restrictions in March and April 2020 in Australia, we develop a number of days WFH ordered logit model and link it to a zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) regression model for the number of weekly one-way commuting trips by car and public transport. Scenario analysis is undertaken to highlight the way in which WFH might change the amount of commuting activity when restrictions are relaxed to enable changing patterns of WFH and commuting. The findings will provide one reference point as we continue to undertake similar analysis at different points through time during the pandemic and after when restrictions are effectively removed.

5.
Transport Policy ; 2020.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-960145

ABSTRACT

This paper estimates the short-term reduction in money and time costs associated with a reduction in car and public transport commuting activity in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan Area (GSMA) during a period of the COVID-19 pandemic in which Australia started to see an easing of restrictions (see Beck and Hensher 2020a). As of late May 2020, three months after COVID-19 resulted in restrictions in Australia, we saw an annual travel time reduction for car and public transport commuters in the GSMA of $5.58 billion, representing a 54.02% reduction in the Pre-COVID-19 total time costs, much of which we would suggest can be associated with reductions in congestions costs. Adjusting further for reduced employment volumes relative to pre-COVID-19 levels, to take into account reduced commuting activity due, in part, to a lower volume of work associated with a loss of employment or lower employment hours, the annual time cost reduction for all commuters who still have regular pre-COVID-19 levels of employment are estimated as $4.4 billion. Hence there is $1.17 billion worth of reduced time costs associated with significantly reduced employment hours, including a loss of employment. The implications for road investment linked to congestion in particular is profound, and shows how much of an increase in benefit to society, through congestion busting, can be obtained by more flexible work arrangements, even allowing for some switching into car out of public transport. Whether the current decrease in travel costs will be long-lasting is unknown, but it does support the appeal of working from home, if it is sustainable, as a policy lever to reduce levels of congestion on the roads and crowding in public transport.

6.
J Transp Geogr ; 88: 102846, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739934

ABSTRACT

With the onset of COVID-19 restrictions and the slow relaxing of many restrictions, it is imperative that we understand what this means for the performance of the transport network. In going from almost no commuting, except for essential workers, to a slow increase in travel activity with working from home (WFH) continuing to be both popular and preferred, this paper draws on two surveys, one in late March at the height of restrictions and one in late May as restrictions are starting to be partially relaxed, to develop models for WFH and weekly one-way commuting travel by car and public transport. We compare the findings as one way to inform us of the extent to which a sample of Australian residents have responded through changes in WFH and commuting. While it is early days to claim any sense of a new stable pattern of commuting activity, this paper sets the context for ongoing monitoring of adjustments in travel activity and WFH, which can inform changes required in the revision of strategic metropolitan transport models as well as more general perspectives on future transport and land use policy and planning.

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