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The traveler costs of unplanned transport network disruptions: An activity-based modeling approach

  • Erik Jenelius
  • Lars-Goran Mattsson
  • David Levinson


    (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

In this paper we introduce an activity-based modeling approach for evaluating the traveler costs of transport network disruptions. The model handles several important aspects of such events: increases in travel time may be very long in relation to the normal day-to-day fluctuations; the impact of delay may depend on the flexibility to reschedule activities; lack of information and uncertainty about travel conditions may lead to under- or over-adjustment of the daily schedule in response to the delay; delays on more than one trip may restrict the gain from rescheduling activities. We derive properties such as the value of time and schedule costs analytically. Numerical calculations show that the average cost per hour delay increases with the delay duration, so that every additional minute of delay comes with a higher cost. The cost varies depending on adjustment behavior (less adjustment, loosely speaking, giving higher cost) and scheduling flexibility (greater flexibility giving lower cost). The results indicate that existing evaluations of real network disruptions have underestimated the societal costs of the events.

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Paper provided by University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 201104.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Transportation Research part B 45(5) pp. 789-807.
Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:traveller_disruptions_costs
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dept. of Civil Engineering, 500 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
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