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Rail passengers’ time use and utility assessment: 2010 findings from Great Britain with multivariate analysis


  • Susilo, Yusak O.

    () (KTH)

  • Lyons, Glenn

    (University of the West of England)

  • Jain, Juliet

    (University of the West of England)

  • Atkins, Steve

    (University of the West of England)


Using data from Great Britain’s National Passenger Survey 2010 this paper examines the travel time use of rail passengers and their indicative assessment of its utility. The paper explores the impacts of individuals’ socio demographic characteristics, types of activity undertaken and the perceived difficulties that may be faced by the travellers on their assessment of travel time use utility. The study shows that only 13% of travellers considered their travel time as wasted. However, this varies by journey purpose, travelling class (first/standard class), gender and journey length. The study shows that the positive or negative appreciation by passengers of their journey time is not only a result of various combinations of on-board activity engagements, but also the smoothness of overall journey experience. Being able to work/study on the train most significantly increases individual appreciation of time use. However, a delay on an individual’s train journey also has a major influence in reducing his/her perceived value of travel time spent. ICT devices that enable travellers to watch film/video or play games or check emails are more appreciated than those providing access to music/podcast or access to social networking sites. The paper joins others in questioning assumptions made in economic appraisal that travel time is unproductive. It concludes with a call for more substantive and targeted data collection efforts within travel behaviour research devoted to further unravelling the phenomenon of the positive utility of travel.

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  • Susilo, Yusak O. & Lyons, Glenn & Jain, Juliet & Atkins, Steve, 2013. "Rail passengers’ time use and utility assessment: 2010 findings from Great Britain with multivariate analysis," Working papers in Transport Economics 2013:18, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ctswps:2013_018
    Note: Full bibliographic details: Transportation Research Record, vol. 2323 / Travel Behavior 2012, Vol. 2, pp 99-109. DOI information: 10.3141/2323-12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lothlorien Redmond & Patricia Mokhtarian, 2001. "The positive utility of the commute: modeling ideal commute time and relative desired commute amount," Transportation, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 179-205, May.
    2. Mokhtarian, Patricia L. & Salomon, Ilan, 2001. "How derived is the demand for travel? Some conceptual and measurement considerations," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 695-719, September.
    3. Salomon, Ilan & Mokhtarian, Patricia, 1998. "What Happens When Mobility-Inclined Market Segments Face Accessibility-Enhancing Policies?," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt2x75525j, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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    More about this item


    Travel time use; Rail passenger; Journey satisfaction; Great Britain;

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning

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