Determinants of Route Choice and the Value of Traveler Information
AbstractA major strategy of federal ITS initiatives and state departments of transportation is to provide traveler information to motorists through various means, including variable message signs, the internet, telephone services like 511, in-vehicle guidance systems, and TV and radio reports. This is relatively uncontroversial, but its effectiveness is unknown. Drivers receive value from traveler information in several ways, including the ability to save time, but perhaps more importantly, other personal, social, safety, or psychological impacts from certainty. This information can be economically valued. The benefits of reduction in driver uncertainty when information is provided at the beginning of the trip by various means is the main variable we aim to measure in this research, in which we assess user preferences for routes as a function of the presence and accuracy of information, while controlling for other trip and route attributes, such as trip purpose, travel time, distance, number of stops, delay, esthetics, level of commercial development, and individual characteristics. Data is collected in a field experiment in which more than 100 drivers, given real-time travel time information with varying degrees of accuracy, drove four of five alternative routes between a pre-selected OD pair in the Twin Cities metro area. Ordinary regression, multinomial, and rank-ordered logit models produce estimates of the value of information with some variation. In general, results show that travelers are willing to pay up to $1 per trip for pre-trip travel time information. The value of information is higher for commute and event trips and when congestion on the usual route is heavier. The accuracy of the traveler information is also a crucial factor. In fact, there do not seem be incentives for travelers to use traveler information at all unless they perceive it to be accurate. Finally, most travelers (70%) prefer that such information should be provided for free by the public sector, while some (19%) believe that it is better for the private sector to provide such service at a charge. Over 35% of subjects are willing to pay for OD-customized pre-trip travel time information.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 200808.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board 2086:81-92
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Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: +01 (612) 625-6354
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Web page: http://nexus.umn.edu
More information through EDIRC
Value of Information; Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS); Real-Time Traffic Operations; Travel Behavior; Spatial behavior; Wayfinding Behavior; Route Choice.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion
- R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy
- D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-03-31 (All new papers)
- NEP-DCM-2007-03-31 (Discrete Choice Models)
- NEP-GEO-2007-03-31 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-ICT-2007-03-31 (Information & Communication Technologies)
- NEP-URE-2007-03-31 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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