Train passengers' valuation of travel time unreliability

Jonas Eliasson

For scheduled services with relatively high reliability and long headways, most common approach is the “expected delay” approach, where passengers are assumed to value a possible delay proportional to its expected value. Common measures of travellers’ valuations are the “value of [expected] delay time”, or the “reliability multiplier”, i.e. the ratio of the value of delay time to the value of (scheduled) travel time.

Using three different data sets, we investigate whether the expected delay approach holds empirically. In particular, we study how the valuation of apossible delay with probability p and length L depends on p and L.

The main result is that this valuation is not proportional to the expected delay pL, but increases slower than linear in the delay probability. This is particularly pronounced for small risks.

This means that estimated “values of delay time” will depend on the delay risk level p; “delay time values” will be higher the lower the risk level p is. One implication is that estimated values of delay times which does not take the non-linearity in delay risk into account will result in valuations that cannot be transferred between contexts with different delay risks. We also give a theoretical reason why this should be an expected phenomenon, as long asheadways are large.

Regarding the dependence on delay length L, results are ambiguous: in one study, the valuation is linear in delay length L, whereas in another it increases slower than linearly.



Millions for research into maritime transport and the environment

Maritime transport is a major source of emissions of harmful air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In a new project, a research team from the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) and the University of Gothenburg has received SEK 6.4...


New research programme for more efficient travel

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) is playing an important role in a major new research programme to find radical solutions leading to fewer trips and more efficient travel, along with tools to enable better use of roads and...


Simulator used to practice emergency responses safely

Emergency responses of the police, ambulance, and rescue services are associated with a high risk of accidents, but practicing them in real traffic is neither safe nor permissible. A simulator-based method developed by the Swedish National Road and Transport...


Simulation of cut-in by manually driven vehicles in platooning scenarios

A study in a VTI-driving simulator has showed that a platoon will be able to handle a cut in from a manually driven car. The results of this study have recently been presented at two conferences in Japan.



The five-year anniversary of European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017.


Self-driving buses in Sweden next year?

A self-driving, fossil-free bus. This idea might become reality through a forthcoming collaborative project involving the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Linköping University and several other participants. The project group aim...