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Saturday, September 9 • 10:07am - 10:40am
Smartphones and Urban Transportation Mode Choice

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The United States in the last decade has experienced an explosive advancement of mobile information technology. Consumers can now access traffic information, transit schedules, directions, and any other data on the internet mobilely using smartphones. The arrival of this new good has profoundly impacted how we interact and make decisions of what activities to consume and how to travel to them. Using travel diary data covering Portland, OR in 2011, we estimate a mode choice model with smartphone ownership as an exogenous variable as well as a model that treats smartphone ownership as an endogenous variable. In order to address potential correlation in unobservables for smartphone ownership and mode choice, we exploit the timing of the release of the iPhone 4s (the first iPhone featuring Siri), after which smartphone penetration increased significantly. We find that smartphone ownership does, in fact, increase the utility of riding public transit over other mode options and that 28% of public transit commutes can be attributed to smartphone ownership.


Jane Coffin

Director, Development Strategy, Internet Society
IXPs, connectivity, access, connecting the next billion, development


Saturday September 9, 2017 10:07am - 10:40am
ASLS Hazel Hall - Room 329

Attendees (12)