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Valuing Time and Reliability: Assessing the Evidence from Road Pricing Demonstrations

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  • Brownstone, David
  • Small, Kenneth A.

Abstract

This paper reports results from evaluations of two recent road pricing demonstrations in Southern California. These demonstration projects provide particularly useful opportunities for measuring commuters’ values of time and reliability. Unlike most revealed preference studies of value of time, the choice to pay to use the toll facilities in these demonstrations is relatively independent from other travel choices such as whether to use public transit. Unlike most stated preference studies, the scenarios presented in these surveys are real ones that travelers have faced or know about from media coverage. By combining revealed and stated preference data, the studies have obtained enough independent variation in variables to disentangle effects of cost, time, and reliability, while still grounding the results in real behavior. Both sets of studies find that the value of time saved on the morning commute is quite high (between $20 and $40 per hour) when based on revealed behavior, and less than half that amount when based on hypothetical behavior. When satisfactorily identified, reliability is also valued quite highly. There is substantial heterogeneity in these values across the population, but it is difficult to isolate its exact origins.

Suggested Citation

  • Brownstone, David & Small, Kenneth A., 2003. "Valuing Time and Reliability: Assessing the Evidence from Road Pricing Demonstrations," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt95z0p35k, University of California Transportation Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt95z0p35k
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ghosh, Arindam, 2001. "Valuing Time and Reliability: Commuters' Mode Choice from a Real Time Congestion Pricing Experiment," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9fz0z9kq, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Brownstone, David & Ghosh, Arindam & Golob, Thomas F. & Kazimi, Camilla & Van Amelsfort, Dirk, 2003. "Drivers' willingness-to-pay to reduce travel time: evidence from the San Diego I-15 congestion pricing project," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 373-387, May.
    3. Small, Kenneth A. & Yan, Jia, 2001. "The Value of "Value Pricing" of Roads: Second-Best Pricing and Product Differentiation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 310-336, March.
    4. John Calfee & Clifford Winston & Randolph Stempski, 2001. "Econometric Issues In Estimating Consumer Preferences From Stated Preference Data: A Case Study Of The Value Of Automobile Travel Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 699-707, November.
    5. Calfee, John & Winston, Clifford, 1998. "The value of automobile travel time: implications for congestion policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 83-102, July.
    6. Small, Kenneth A & Winston, Clifford & Yan, Jia, 2002. "Uncovering the Distribution of Motorists' Preferences for Travel Time and Reliability: Implications for Road Pricing," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt8zd2r34k, University of California Transportation Center.
    7. David A. Hensher, 2001. "Measurement of the Valuation of Travel Time Savings," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 35(1), pages 71-98, January.
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