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The Economics of Information in Transport

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  • Piet Rietveld

    (VU University Amsterdam)

Abstract

Travelers often are incompletely informed about travel alternatives, which has important implications for various domains of travel behavior such as whether or not to make a trip, modal choice, the timing of a trip or route choice. During the last decade large efforts have been made to increase the availability of information to travelers by means of advanced traveler information systems (ATIS). This paper reviews economic aspects of information in transport markets. First, I will discuss information acquisition from an economics perspective by characterizing costs and benefits of information, leading to the formulation of optimal strategies to acquire information. This will be done in the context of search strategies leading to sequential information acquisition. I further discuss the broader consequences of information acquisition on the functioning of transport networks. In congested networks, when travelers change their behavior on the basis of information they obtain, this will have consequences not only for their own travel times, but also those of other travelers. This leads to interesting positive (and possibly negative) spillovers having important policy implications. The next step is the analysis of a traveler's choice whether to adopt advanced traveler information systems, implying the derivation of a demand function for information.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 10-110/3.

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Date of creation: 04 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20100110

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: Information; ATIS; uncertainty;

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  1. André De Palma & Robin Lindsey & Nathalie Picard, 2008. "Risk aversion, the value of information and traffic equilibrium," Working Papers, HAL hal-00349492, HAL.
  2. de Palma, André & Picard, Nathalie, 2005. "Route choice decision under travel time uncertainty," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 295-324, May.
  3. Grotenhuis, Jan-Willem & Wiegmans, Bart W. & Rietveld, Piet, 2007. "The desired quality of integrated multimodal travel information in public transport: Customer needs for time and effort savings," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 27-38, January.
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