, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 621–639 | Cite as

Estimating commuter mode choice: A discrete choice analysis of the impact of road pricing and parking charges

  • Kevin WashbrookEmail author
  • Wolfgang Haider
  • Mark Jaccard


Automobile use leads to external costs associated with emissions, congestion, noise and other impacts. One option for minimizing these costs is to introduce road pricing and parking charges to reduce demand for single occupant vehicle (SOV) use, while providing improvements to alternatives to encourage mode switching. However, the impact of these policies on urban mode choice is uncertain, and results reported from regions where charging has been introduced may not be transferable. In particular, revealed preference data associated with cost recovery tolls on single facilities may not provide a clear picture of driver response to tolls for demand management. To estimate commuter mode choice behaviour in response to such policies, 548 commuters from a Greater Vancouver suburb who presently drive alone to work completed an individually customized discrete choice experiment (DCE) in which they chose between driving alone, carpooling or taking a hypothetical express bus service when choices varied in terms of time and cost attributes. Attribute coefficients identified with the DCE were used in a predictive model to estimate commuter response to various policy oriented combinations of charges and incentives. Model results suggest that increases in drive alone costs will bring about greater reductions in SOV demand than increases in SOV travel time or improvements in the times and costs of alternatives beyond a base level of service. The methods described here provide an effective and efficient way for policy makers to develop an initial assessment of driver reactions to the introduction of pricing policies in their particular regions.

Key words

parking charges road pricing stated preference 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Washbrook
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wolfgang Haider
    • 1
  • Mark Jaccard
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Resource and Environmental ManagementSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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