The Effects of Changing Commutes on Home Delivery Activity

Term Start:

September 1, 2023

Term End:

May 31, 2025




Commute, Home Delivery, New York, Online Shopping

Thrust Area(s):

Equity and Understanding User Needs

University Lead:

City College of New York


Alison Conway

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, New York, like most US and global cities, has seen rapid evolution of (1) work location and time flexibility and (2) adoption of online shopping alternatives for diverse commodities by varying shopper populations.  It is expected that changes in work location – particularly the increased opportunity for some individuals to work from home at least a few days per week – could have profound impacts on the choice of location for shopping activities and on the likelihood of receiving home deliveries.

Relying on the New York City Department of Transportation’s forthcoming 2022 Citywide Mobility Survey (CMS) and publicly-available land-use and employment data, this project will explicitly investigate the relationship between work-related travel activity (or lack thereof) and propensity for home delivery.  This study will distinguish individuals based on demographic characteristics, home and work built environments (e.g. land uses and building types) and commute characteristics (e.g. frequencies, modes, times of day), and will evaluate shopping frequencies for several specific categories of goods – including groceries, prepared food, and parcels. Results are expected to provide insights on the expected impacts of changing work on local delivery activity, to inform the design of future urban freight infrastructure and city logistics strategies in work- and residence-oriented communities, and to provide insights for potential implications for local travel and retail activity.

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