Leveraging the Choice Not to Travel
The pandemic accelerated the growth of remote services and telecommuting. Now is the time for urban planners to leverage these new opportunities to reduce vehicle miles traveled.
Because travel does have costs and impacts, every effort should be made to leverage the opportunity to forgo travel where it is not highly valued or economically important so that transportation capacity and resources can be directed to travel that is highly valued by the travelers. Transportation stakeholders spend a tremendous amount of energy contemplating expensive and multi-decade initiatives to upgrade transportation technologies and reshape urban environments in the interest of minimizing travel and its impacts. It is time to harvest the low-hanging fruit and leverage communication as an alternative to travel. It is an opportunity to make activity participation more available to more people, including those with limited financial resources and physical capabilities that impede their ability to travel. If ever there was a win-win solution, enhanced communications fits the bill.