Justifying toll payment with biased travel time estimates: Behavioral findings and route choice modeling

Einat Tenenboim, Nira Munichor, Yoram Shiftan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Travel time is considered a main factor in travel demand modeling, taken almost exclusively in its objective form. Given that people base their decisions on perceptions rather than on objective attributes, this study aims to examine whether forecasting could benefit from the inclusion of subjective time. A second objective is to test and disentangle drivers’ tendency to estimate toll trips as shorter than non-toll trips. In a field experiment, shoppers departing a mall described their intended route and an alternative route, one of which via a nearby toll road. Participants provided time estimates for the two routes. Objective times were collected via smartphone tracking apps and Waze. All 386 participants were paid 10 NIS. To test the effects of toll self-payment, some participants were told that this sum was to cover the toll payment, and others that it was a participation fee. Consequently, some participants who had not intended to drive via the toll road were paid to do so. Results showed that drivers who intended to drive via the toll road exaggerated their time savings compared to drivers who did not intend to drive it but eventually did, suggesting drivers’ time estimates reflected an attempt to justify their route choice. Self-payment decreased estimated toll time savings. Drivers’ toll-route choice was estimated using binomial logit models, revealing better fit for models based on estimated, rather than objective, time. We concluded that estimated time data entails unique valuable information regarding drivers’ preferences, rendering its integration in toll-route modeling constructive and beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-511
Number of pages35
JournalTransportation
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Funding

The authors would like to thank Lital Sher, Lior Brody-Luzon, Ieman Iesmail, Rim Assad and Chen Dayan for their dedicated work in the field collecting data. The corresponding author acknowledges the financial support of a doctoral scholarship by the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Parts of the material in this paper were presented in the International Association for Travel Behavior Research (IATBR) conference 2018, and in the European Association for Research in Transportation (hEART) conference 2017. The authors would like to thank Lital Sher, Lior Brody-Luzon, Ieman Iesmail, Rim Assad and Chen Dayan for their dedicated work in the field collecting data. The corresponding author acknowledges the financial support of a doctoral scholarship by the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Parts of the material in this paper were presented in the International Association for Travel Behavior Research (IATBR) conference 2018, and in the European Association for Research in Transportation (hEART) conference 2017.

FundersFunder number
European Association for Research in Transportation
International Association for Travel Behavior Research
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

    Keywords

    • Shopping trips
    • Subjective time
    • Time estimates
    • Toll road
    • Travel behavior modeling
    • Travel time savings

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