Heterogeneity in Motorists' Preferences for Time Travel and Time Reliability: Empirical Findings from Multiple Survey Data Sets and Its Policy Implications
The deregulation experience in airline, banking, and telecommunication suggests that the heterogeneity in consumersâ€™ preferences has important policy significance. However, the varied nature in motoristsâ€™ preferences has been hardly recognized in urban passenger transportation sector. In this public sector, the public authority generally offers a uniform class of services to all potential users. This dissertation employs the new advances in econometrics on survey data sets from road pricing experiment in Los Angeles area to study the diversity in motoristsâ€™ preferences for travel time and travel time reliability. The empirical findings are used to explore the efficiency and distributional effects of road pricing that accounts for usersâ€™ heterogeneity. This dissertation found substantial heterogeneity in motoristsâ€™ preferences for both travel time and travel time reliability. Furthermore, based on a simulation model, this dissertation found that road pricing policies catering to varying preferences can substantially increase efficiency while maintaining the same political feasibility as the current experiments. This dissertation also explores how to apply the recent developments in Bayesian econometrics to estimate the multinomial probit models combining different sources of data, which can be used to estimate the diversity in peoplesâ€™ preferences with more flexibility in model specification.
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