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Commuters' willingness to pay to reduce travel time: An application of discrete choice experiment

Commuters' willingness to pay to reduce travel time: An application of discrete choice experiment

Over the last six decades, a large quantum of studies has explored the value of travel time savings (VTTS). The travel time savings constitute a significant proportion of many transport improvements, cost-benefit analyses of transport services, traffic forecasting models, and congestion pricing schemes. The present study aims to estimate commuters’ value of time (VOT) or the willingness to pay (WTP) to reduce travel time by one-hour in Mumbai, India. It applied a discrete choice experiment to estimate the value of time of automobile commuters. The discrete choice experiment follows the Lancasterian theory of value and the random utility model. Given the polytomous nature of the dependent variable, conditional logit is applied to analyse the stated preference survey data. The study used the conditional (fixed-effects) logistic regression and conditional logit (McFadden’s choice) model. It yielded an average VOT of 288.86 INR/hr ($3.86) for the first model and 274.84 INR/hr ($3.67) for the latter. The results show that the VOT differs from the previously estimated values of time in Mumbai, which can be attributed to differences in adopted methodology, estimation techniques, and the hypothetical biases arising in the study. The future studies with refined experimental design and the use of revealed preference data will overcome the inadequacies of the present study, which would better reflect the value of time of automobile commuters.