Travel mode choice: effects of previous experience on choice behaviour and valuation

This paper investigates how past experience influences choice behaviour and valuation in a hypothetical travel mode choice situation. Using a stated choice question asked of visitors to a major ski resort in Sweden, the author explores whether an individual's choice behaviour, when he or she is offered a comfort improvement to train travel, can be explained with reference to the individual and to the circumstances of his or her previous journey.

The analysis models and compares the response behaviour of travellers who used a car and travellers who used the train on their original trip. It is found that past experience influences travellers' choice behaviour. Twenty per cent of former car users choose the train, while most train users again choose the train. As reasons for choosing car travel once again, car users mention a preference for shorter travel time and/or a preference for flexibility, while environmental concerns and long travel distance favour the use of the train. Concerning comfort improvement, as expected, willingness-to-pay estimates for the former train users are lower and more precise than those for the former car users.

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