Modelling Choices for Long-distance Travellers in the UK: an SP Analysis of Mode Choice



Modelling Choices for Long-distance Travellers in the UK: an SP Analysis of Mode Choice

Authors

P Burge, C Rohr, C Kim, RAND Europe, UK

Description

This paper presents the findings from a stated preference study into the factors influencing demand for high-speed rail in the UK, providing new empirical evidence which will inform the debate around the future of high-speed rail in the UK.

Abstract

The UK Department for Transport is in the process of developing a model to predict passenger demand for long-distance travel that will be used to examine a number of policy interventions, including demand for high-speed rail.

As part of the model development, a stated preference study has been undertaken to examine the propensity of those making long distance trips for switching to high-speed rail and to provide key parameter values for modelling demand for high-speed rail services, including:
? values of time, and to examine whether these vary differentially by mode of travel;
? cost sensitivity, and to examine how these vary across income groups and trip length;
? out-of-vehicle components, such as frequency, interchanges, access/egress time;
? rail service components, such as rail reliability and crowding;
? whether there exists an additional preference for HSR, over classic rail, above that which can be measured by service attributes; and
? where HSR fits in the modal choice hierarchy.

Stated preference surveys have been undertaken with over 3,000 travellers making long-distance trips, that is trips in excess of 50 miles by air, car, or existing rail services, within a realistic catchment area for a hypothetical north-south high-speed rail service. As a result, this study provides a uniquely rich dataset for the analysis of long-distance mode choice decisions under a broad range of scenarios, and allows the identification of cases where a new high-speed rail service may (or may not) act as an attractive substitute.

The stated preference choice experiments are based around a range of realistic station locations, and as such examine scenarios where many respondents making long-distance trips within the corridor of the study may face significant access and/or egress times to use the high-speed rail service. The choice scenarios examine choices between car, air, rail and high-speed rail, simultaneously, strengthening the ability of the dataset to provide insight in to the modal hierarchy. In addition to the usual service characteristics, the choice experiments also examine the importance of service reliability and crowding explicitly to better isolate these aspects of a high-speed rail service which in previous studies may have been confounded in the mode-specific constants.

This paper presents the findings from this study into the factors influencing demand for high-speed rail in the UK. It sets the study in the context of the range of high-speed rail propositions currently being discussed and provides insight in to the likely travel choices of those currently making long distance trips when offered realistic high-speed rail options for their journey. Both the design of the stated preference choice experiments and the models estimated upon this new dataset are discussed.

This paper provides new empirical evidence which will inform the debate around the future of high-speed rail in the UK.

Publisher

Association for European Transport