Valuating Perceived Insecurity Associated with Use of and Access to Public Transport



Valuating Perceived Insecurity Associated with Use of and Access to Public Transport

Authors

M Börjesson, Royal Institute of Technology, SE

Description

This study use a Stated Choice experiment to assess the relation between perceived security and characteristics of the physical environment, with the aim of evaluating policies to improve security.

Abstract

A key objective in Swedish transport policy is that the transport system should be secure, contribute to a gender-equal society and stimulate public transport travel and walking. The design of the physical environment is a key factor in this context. Still, investments aiming at improving the traveler?s perception of insecurity are seldom evaluated by using standard cost benefit analysis (CBA) that is used for evaluating other types of investments. The main reason for this is that valuation of perception of secure is difficult and has rarely been done. In this paper we use stated choice to elicit a willingness-to-pay for perceived security when accessing and using public transport. We aim at assessing the relation between perceived security and characteristics of the physical environment, with the aim of evaluating policies to improve security.


A binary stated choice experiment was designed for public transport trips, comprising choices between alternatives differing in three dimensions: walk time to access the station, headway and in-vehicle time. The physical environments varied between the binary choices. The hypothesis was that the valuation of security that would affect the valuation of walk and wait time, which allows us to calculate different time values for different environments, and hence get an implicit valuation of different physical environments.


The experiment was carried out in the context to the Swedish Value of Time study 2008, so that all respondents also made a stated choice experiment comprising choices between alternatives differing in two dimensions: in-vehicle time and travel cost. It is therefore possible to transfer the results from the security experiment into monetary terms.


Four different physical environments were presented through images. The first was open and in daylight, the second was a closed environment but still in daylight, the third an open environment, but by night, and the fourth was a closed environment at night. Apart from the images, there were no descriptions of the different environments. The stated choice formulations only focused on wlking times etc. ? in other words, respondents were not asked to think about whether they would be more or less secure in the different environments.

The valuation of walk access time indicates a systematic variation of walk time in different physical environments. A clear difference was between men and women in terms of valuation of walk time. Men's valuation of walk time is independent of the environment, while the physical environment is significantly affects women?s valuation of walk time.

In the open/light environment, men and women have equal valuations of walk time (about twice the in-vehicle time value). But women have a significantly higher disutility of walking in closed/dark environments than men. Women?s relative walking time valuations increased from 2 to 2.5 when comparing open and closed environment in daylight. Comparing an open/light environment to an open/dark environment increases the relative walking time valuation to about 2.75. In the closed/dark environment, the relaative walking time valuation was around 3.5.

The relative valuation of headway was around 1 for all types of environment, and did not differ between men and women. Neither did the valuation of in-vehicle time depend on the physical environment.

Valuing perceived security is a complex area, and the results are difficult to generalize. Still, the obtained results may provide guidance on the magnitude of the value of various measures to reduce women's fear and discomfort to get to and from public transport.

Publisher

Association for European Transport