, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 333–345 | Cite as

How real is a reported desire to travel for its own sake? Exploring the ‘teleportation’ concept in travel behaviour research

  • Marie RussellEmail author
  • Patricia Mokhtarian


The ‘teleportation test’ has been used in travel behaviour research for more than a decade, as a means of assessing whether an individual views travel purely as a disutility. The teleportation concept has been used successfully in qualitative research to elicit responses and clarify attitudes to travel time. However, survey-based studies have revealed an apparent inconsistency, in that many people who report an ideal travel time greater than zero, and/or do not consider their travel time as wasted, also report wanting to teleport. This note reviews a range of studies involving the teleportation concept, highlights the inconsistency, suggests reasons for it, and proposes a research approach for testing the validity of those reasons.


Positive utility of travel Travel multitasking Commuting Travel time Ideal travel time 



Comments by three referees have improved this note.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public HealthUniversity of Otago, WellingtonWellington SouthNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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