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Economic benefits of urban rail projects that improve travel-time reliability: Evidence from Tokyo, Japan


  • Kato, Hironori
  • Kaneko, Yuichiro
  • Soyama, Yoshihiko


This paper presents a case study that evaluates the economic benefits that stem from urban rail projects to improve travel-time reliability. It first examines the departure-time choices of urban rail passengers who face unreliable rail services and analyzes these choices empirically by using data on the reactions of passengers that use the Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line in Japan. A model of commuters׳ choices is then formulated by using the scheduling approach where their preference toward travel-time reliability is reflected in their departure-time choices. The presented model assumes that an individual maximizes his or her utility on a workday by allocating time to activities and by determining the start time of each activity. It is also assumed that the individual׳s utility function consists of the following four subutility functions: morning in-home leisure time, rail travel time, the difference between arrival time at the workplace and preferred arrival time at the workplace, and the difference between arrival time at the workplace and the official work start time. To consider variability in travel time, an error component is introduced into the subutility function of rail travel time, for which two types of probability functions are examined: exponential function and censored-normal distribution. The results show that the model with the censored-normal distribution can successfully describe the empirical data. The consumer benefits that stem from improvements in travel-time reliability are then estimated by using the departure-time choice model for these four cases. Finally, the applicability of the proposed method is discussed, particularly in the context of the urban rail network in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

Suggested Citation

  • Kato, Hironori & Kaneko, Yuichiro & Soyama, Yoshihiko, 2014. "Economic benefits of urban rail projects that improve travel-time reliability: Evidence from Tokyo, Japan," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 202-210.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:35:y:2014:i:c:p:202-210
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2014.06.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hollander, Yaron, 2006. "Direct versus indirect models for the effects of unreliability," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 699-711, November.
    2. Stephane Hess & John Polak & Andrew Daly & Geoffrey Hyman, 2007. "Flexible substitution patterns in models of mode and time of day choice: new evidence from the UK and the Netherlands," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 213-238, March.
    3. Small, Kenneth A, 1987. "A Discrete Choice Model for Ordered Alternatives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 409-424, March.
    4. Arnott, R. & de Palma, A. & Lindsey, R., 1990. "Departure time and route choice for the morning commute," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 209-228, June.
    5. A. de Palma & A. J. Khattak & D. Gupta, 1997. "Commuters' departure time decisions in Brussels," THEMA Working Papers 97-08, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    6. Noland, Robert B. & Small, Kenneth A. & Koskenoja, Pia Maria & Chu, Xuehao, 1998. "Simulating travel reliability," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 535-564, September.
    7. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
    8. Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-479, June.
    9. de Jong, Gerard & Daly, Andrew & Pieters, Marits & Vellay, Carine & Bradley, Mark & Hofman, Frank, 2003. "A model for time of day and mode choice using error components logit," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 245-268, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yusuf Sofiyandi & Muhammad Halley Yudhistira, 2018. "Estimating the Benefit of Document-Handling Process Improvement for Seaport Reliability: The Case of Indonesia," LPEM FEBUI Working Papers 201816, LPEM, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia, revised Jan 2018.


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