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Wanting to travel, more or less: Exploring the determinants of the deficit and surfeit of personal travel

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  • Sangho Choo

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  • Gustavo Collantes
  • Patricia Mokhtarian

Abstract

Do people actually want to travel? Not according to the conventional wisdom of the transportation profession, which holds that travel is purely a disutility to be minimized. The fundamental demand (as the common thinking goes) is to participate in various activities that happen to be spatially diverse, and travel is only tolerated as a necessary "evil" means for achieving the desired end. Although many in the profession realize that this assumption is a simplification of reality, many others accept it almost as an article of faith. Even those who understand it to be only an approximation generally believe it to be an adequate one, and until recently there has been little effort to empirically test this belief. Building on insights previously expressed by others (e.g., Jones, 1978; Reichman, 1976; Hupkes, 1982), we have begun a multi-faceted study of the positive utility of travel, that challenges the notion of travel as purely a derived demand. Early papers in this series (Salomon and Mokhtarian, 1998; Mokhtarian and Salomon, 2001) focused on the conceptual basis for such a positive utility. Three components to the utility of travel were identified: (1) the conventional component – the utility of arriving at a desired destination; (2) the utility of activities that can be conducted while traveling (listening to music, talking to a companion, thinking or relaxing, potentially talking on a mobile phone, working on a laptop, or reading); and (3) the utility intrinsic to travel itself. The third component of utility involves psychological needs or motivations such as the enjoyment of movement itself (including, but not exclusively, the enjoyment of speed), curiosity or information-seeking, variety-seeking, a need for escape, a need for independence or desire for freedom, the satisfaction of skillfully handling a vehicle, and the "display" of travel or a vehicle as a status symbol. While even most transportation professionals would readily acknowled
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Suggested Citation

  • Sangho Choo & Gustavo Collantes & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2005. "Wanting to travel, more or less: Exploring the determinants of the deficit and surfeit of personal travel," Transportation, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 135-164, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:32:y:2005:i:2:p:135-164
    DOI: 10.1007/s11116-004-2219-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mokhtarian, Patricia L & Salomon, Ilan & S, Lothlorien, 2001. "Understanding the Demand for Travel: It's Not Purely 'Derived'," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5bh2d8mh, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Redmond, Lothlorien, 2000. "Identifying and Analyzing Travel-Related Attitudinal, Personality, and Lifestyle Clusters in the San Francisco Bay Area," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt0317h7v4, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cao, Xinyu & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "How do individuals adapt their personal travel? A conceptual exploration of the consideration of travel-related strategies," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 199-206, May.
    2. Páez, Antonio & Whalen, Kate, 2010. "Enjoyment of commute: A comparison of different transportation modes," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 537-549, August.
    3. Diana, Marco & Mokhtarian, Patricia L, 2008. "Travelers’ segmentation based on multimodality behaviors and attitudes," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt2cb1z6v7, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    4. Sangho Choo & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2008. "How do people respond to congestion mitigation policies? A multivariate probit model of the individual consideration of three travel-related strategy bundles," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 145-163, March.
    5. Diana, Marco, 2008. "Making the "primary utility of travel" concept operational: A measurement model for the assessment of the intrinsic utility of reported trips," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 455-474, March.
    6. Marco Diana & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2009. "Grouping travelers on the basis of their different car and transit levels of use," Transportation, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 455-467, July.
    7. Cao, Xinyu & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "How do individuals adapt their personal travel? Objective and subjective influences on the consideration of travel-related strategies for San Francisco Bay Area commuters," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 291-302, July.
    8. Choo, Sangho & Mokhtarian, Patricia L, 2004. "Modeling the Individual Consideration of Travel-Related Strategy Bundles," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt3123v46c, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    9. Lavery, T.A. & Páez, A. & Kanaroglou, P.S., 2013. "Driving out of choices: An investigation of transport modality in a university sample," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 37-46.
    10. Marco Diana & Tingting Song & Knut Wittkowski, 2009. "Studying travel-related individual assessments and desires by combining hierarchically structured ordinal variables," Transportation, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 187-206, March.
    11. Patricia Mokhtarian & Francis Papon & Matthieu Goulard & Marco Diana, 2015. "What makes travel pleasant and/or tiring? An investigation based on the French National Travel Survey," Transportation, Springer, vol. 42(6), pages 1103-1128, November.

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