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Within individual variation in preferences: equity effects of congestion charges

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Elisabetta Cherchi


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The purpose of this research is to explore how the value of travel time (VTT) and preferences for different modes varies within individuals as compared to the variation between observed trips. Using a six-week revealed preference panel data and stated preference data from a mode choice context, both collected in Switzerland, a revealed/stated preference logit mode choice model was estimated. The model was applied to simulate how the VTT and change in consumer surplus (ΔCS) vary across trips within and between individuals over the six weeks in response to a hypothetical congestion charging scheme. We found that the variation in VTT arising from income differences is substantially smaller than the variation in VTT between trips. Moreover, the variability in the VTT averaged over all trips within each individual is considerably smaller than the variability in the VTT for all observed trips. Hence, the assumption that variation in VTT between observed trips reflects the variation in the average VTT between individuals, which is usually made in equity analyses, will over-state the between individual variation. The results suggest that if intra-individual variation in preferences is not taken into account, the negative equity effects of congestion charges are likely to be overestimated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Börjesson M, Cherchi E, Bierlaire M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transportation Research Record

Year: 2013

Volume: 2382

Issue: 1

Pages: 92-101

Publisher: The National Academies


DOI: 10.3141/2382-11


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