Telecommuter technologies on rail cars enable a traveler on public transit to access the Internet, thereby enhancing the ability to work while traveling to and from work. This technology brings new opportunities for employers to expand their potential labor pool and for employees to shift the costs of work-related travel. Research into more “traditional” forms of telecommuting arrangements such as working from home, a dedicated telecenter, or while traveling on business has found numerous benefits for society, employers, and employees. The present study asks to what extent does the opportunity to engage in paid work while commuting to and from the workplace result in a shift in commuter modal choice away from automobile travel toward public transit. We present evidence that consumer demand for public transit is particularly elastic with respect to the value of time spent traveling. This study provides evidence that by implementing telecommuter technology on rail cars, society could benefit by a significant increase in ridership on public transit. Such benefits should encourage the relevant stakeholders to pursue the implementation and promotion of this technology

Publication Date


Publication Type



Transportation Workforce and Labor

MTI Project



Commuting; Public transit; Rail transportation; Telecommuting; Human resources management