Using telework and flexible work arrangements as a congestion mitigation strategy



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Congestion is one of the most pressing urban issues Texans face today — it imposes steep social and economic costs on citizens and businesses and shows no sign of subsiding without substantial intervention. This thesis will argue that in the current environment of austerity and sharp political tension, it is of critical importance to implement low cost, politically amicable strategies to manage congestion. Flexible work arrangements like telework and flextime have been developed in the private sector as a cost-saving measure and as a reward for exceptional employees. When workers adopt a non-traditional schedule, the transportation network benefits as vehicles are removed or shifted from the peak period. Despite being widely available, non-traditional work arrangements are little used by employers and employees since both parties are uncertain if the new arrangement will benefit their career path and job security. Recently, public agencies and executives have launched programs and passed mandates that force or greatly incentivize employers to adopt flexible work arrangements. The case studies examined in this thesis show that modern programs can provide cheap, temporary congestion relief for urban areas while substantially benefitting the businesses and agencies who adopt them.