Telecommuting is the use of telecommunications technology to replace part or all of the physical journey from home to work for information workers. This paper first estimates the benefits and costs of three alternative hypothetical policy projects, each of which is assumed to generate a defined incidence of telecommuting in the Greater Vancouver region and to allow avoidance of a defined amount of transportation infrastructure spending. The paper then reviews and evaluates some alternative policy strategies for achieving any desired level of telecommuting. The projects evaluated in the benefit-cost section differ with respect to the incidence of telecommuting which is assumed, the amount of transportation spending which is avoided as a result, and the amount of policy spending which is assumed to be necessary in order to generate the assumed incidence of telecommuting. The quantitative relationship between telecommuting incidence and avoidable transportation spending is based on a detailed 1989 government report which analyzes Greater Vancouver's transportation needs through 2001. The quantitative relationship between the amount spent to promote telecommuting and the incidence of telecommuting is subjectively estimated, for no relevant empirical data exists. Individual benefit and cost components are estimated using empirical data wherever possible, and a simple spreadsheet model determines aggregate net benefits over a 10 year study period. All projects generate large net benefits for Greater Vancouver. The public sector receives the largest share of the benefits in the form of avoided transportation infrastructure expenditures, but benefits exceed costs for telecommuters and their employers as well. The project which generates the highest incidence of telecommuting produces the highest net benefits; its net present value is $1,768 million.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Grouse Mountain Research

    730 West 23rd Street
    Vancouver V7P 3J4, BC  Canada 
  • Authors:
    • Finlay, S
  • Publication Date: 1991-4

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 113 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00610156
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 1991 12:00AM