, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 279–304 | Cite as

Dynamic process model of mass effects on travel demand

  • Jan-Dirk Schmöcker
  • Tsuyoshi Hatori
  • David Watling


Whereas transportation planners commonly predict the negative impacts of mass transportation, there is increasing empirical evidence of the existence of positive mass effects, whereby increased use of a mode by the ‘mass’ will generally increase its attractiveness for future travellers. In this paper we consider the dynamic impact of such an effect on the problem of travel demand forecasting, with particular regards to social network effects. Our proposed modelling approach is inspired by literature from social physics, evolutionary game theory and marketing. For simplicity of exposition, our model is specified for a scenario in which (a) there is a binary choice between two mobility lifestyles, referred to as car-oriented and transit-oriented, and (b) there are two population groups, where one is the “leading” or “innovative” population group and the other the “following” or “imitating” population group. This latter distinction follows the rather well-known Bass model from the marketing literature (1969). We develop the transition probabilities and transition dynamics. We illustrate with a numerical case study that despite lower intrinsic utility for the transit lifestyle, significant changes towards this lifestyle can be achieved by considering congestion, service improvements and mass effects. We further illustrate that mass effects can be positive or negative. In all cases we explore the sensitivity of our conclusions to the assumed parameter values.


Mass effects Travel demand Long range forecasting Bass model Social networks Stochastic process model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan-Dirk Schmöcker
    • 1
  • Tsuyoshi Hatori
    • 2
  • David Watling
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Urban ManagementKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringEhime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan
  3. 3.Institute for Transport Studies, University of LeedsLeedsUK

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