Saving $23 Billion Isn’t Easy

fotnComputers haven’t given us a paperless office yet–but maybe telecommunications will help to take some cars and trucks off the highways. After all, America’s transportation infrastructure is facing a crisis, with demand far exceeding supply, according to the Shippers Council. What it we–the people using computers, phones, fax machines, modems, overnight delivery services, and airplanes to conduct business–reduced the demand? What if we substituted telecommunications for transportation?

One of the country’s most respected think tanks recently asked that question, and came up with a surprising answer. Arthur D. Little, the Cambridge, Massachusetts–based research firm, concluded that if Americans could substitute telecommunications for transportation 10 to 20 percent of the time, it would

* Allow six million automobile commuters to work at home.

* Eliminate almost three billion shopping trips annually.

* Eliminate nearly 13 million business trips annually through teleconferencing.

* Eliminate more than 600 million truck and airplane delivery miles annually through electronic transfer …


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