Travel Behavior and Interpersonal Network: Social Time, Mobility and Well-being
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Social networks play important roles in the emotional and economic well-being of individuals. Building and sustaining these networks requires investments in time and effort, and it often requires face-to-face meetings which entail travel and communication by other technology mediated means. This dissertation seeks to offer new insights on social activity participation, particularly focusing on how technology shifts have changed time allocation and travel decisions, and whether the availability of mobility options (or lack thereof) affect social activity participation and subsequently life-satisfaction. More specifically, it investigates (i) whether the evolution of communication technologies over the past few decades has affected the allocation of time to face-to-face social activities, (ii) how social activities and life satisfaction among the elderly are affected by disability, availability of mobility options, and technology, and finally, (iii) through the development of an Agent Based Model, it seeks to understand how social networks and relationships evolve in different urban settings, and how these are affected by urban form and transportation options. The research reveals that people’s social time use remains fairly stable despite the rapid change in communication technologies. It finds that mobility plays important roles in people’s social time use and personal happiness, especially among the elderly and disabled. In addition, through the Agent Based Model, it is observed that land use and transportation costs can influence people’s networks and their satisfaction with their social activity engagement. These findings provide important policy implications to transportation planners.
agent based model