This research investigates the value placed by travelers on HOT lanes because of improvements in travel time reliability. This value depends on how the travelers regard a route with predictable travel times (or small travel time variability) in comparison to another with unpredictable travel times (or high travel time variability). For this purpose, commuters were recruited and equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and instructed to commute for two weeks on each of three plausible alternatives between their home in the western suburbs of Minneapolis eastbound to work in downtown or the University of Minnesota: I-394 HOT lanes, I-394 General Purpose lanes (untolled), and signalized arterials close to the I-394 corridor. They were then given the opportunity to travel on their preferred route after experiencing each alternative. This revealed preference data was then analyzed using mixed logit route choice models. Three measures of reliability were explored and incorporated in the estimation of the models: standard deviation (a classical measure in the research literature); shortened right range (typically found in departure time choice models); and interquartile range (75th - 25th percentile). Each of these measures represents distinct ways about how travelers deal with different sections of reliability. In all the models, it was found that reliability was valued highly (and statistically significantly), but differently according to how it was defined. The estimated value of reliability in each of the models indicates that commuters are willing to pay a fee for a reliable route depending on how they value their reliability savings. Furthermore, a meta-analysis is performed in order to explain the differences across valuation ratio estimates across studies. The results indicate differences are significant across regions, choice dimension (e.g. mode choice), travel time unit (e.g. data collected at AM or PM), and year of study.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. July 2010. Major: Civil Engineering. Advisor: David M. Levinson. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 79 pages, appendix pages 71-79. Ill. (some col.)
Value of reliability: actual commute experience revealed preference approach..
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