Education

The relevance of other attributes than time and money in route choice behavior

Overcrowded city centers, acid rain, smog, fatal accidents and traffic jams. These problems are only a small selection of side effects caused by the apparently ever increasing amount of road users. In most cases these road users don't pay an amount proportional to the harm they cause. This will change when road pricing systems become more mature. In the near future it will -technically- be possible to let road users pay for the effects they cause: to internalize the costs of the externalities. Some of the systems are already introduced, on many more places in the world road pricing will be introduced in the near future. Most of the proposed systems are targeting on only one externality, which is sometimes pollution, but mostly congestion.

But no matter which road pricing technique is used, to determine the effect of the pricing scheme, the behavior of drivers must be investigated. In most studies, the attributes where drivers base their route choice decisions on are reduced to money and time. The externalities are monetarized, a certain route becomes more expensive and based on the value of time the driver will decide if he cancels his trip, takes another route or pays the extra fee. As a consequence, when the value of time is known for a driver or a group of drivers, the behavior under a certain price scheme can be calculated.

Although this could be a useful estimation, most literature doesn't give any evidence of the irrelevance of other factors. What about pollution? What about safety of the driver? Is there any difference between male and female drivers or does age influence the decision making process of a driver? And what about the perception of travel time using a certain route? In this study the relevance of these attributes will be investigated. A Stated Preference survey will be conducted to reveal the necessary data. This data is used as input in a discrete choice model, most likely a multinomial logit model with a path-size correction factor. This model is used to determine the relevance of the involved attributes.

The attributes which will be investigated are:

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Pollution

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Noise

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Drivers’ safety

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Other road users safety

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Presence of other road users

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Time

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Money