From Travel Time and Cost Savings to Value of Mobility
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Research on Value of Travel Time (VTT) is perhaps the most developed area within the studies on value of time. This knowledge has traditionally been regarded particularly valuable by decision-makers, transport planners, engineers, and economists in the context of projects aiming at enhancing transport infrastructure. As everyone spends much time on the move, engaged in leisure or work activities, travel time represents one of the largest costs of transport.
Current VTT definitions and methodologies for its assessment and subsequent recommendations focus on time and cost savings related to the personal “Travel Time Budget” (TTB), the constant amount of time one invests in daily mobility. Less known is instead what value of travel time means for the end users, in relation to their needs, expectations, and lifestyles. Travel needs and preferences vary, for instance, people do not always consider more meaningful or pleasant the time that is spent more efficiently or productively. One’s time valuation fluctuates, also for the same activity performed in different circumstances: time remains a largely subjective entity influenced by endogenous and exogenous factors. As perceived quality of time influences individual well-being, it is important to understand and reflect on own time-use, for instance to adjust habitual behaviour and to consider alternative choices that would better define individual’s needs, goals, and expectations.
The objective of this paper is to present how the “Mobility and Time Value” (MoTiV) H2020 project addresses time value following the emerging approach of estimating VTT from the perspective of a single individual with a unique combination of personal characteristics, habits, preferences, and expectations. This approach, in contrast with the classical viewpoint of the economic theories and utility maximization hypothesis, aims at achieving a broader and more interdisciplinary conceptualisation and understanding of VTT emphasising its “behavioural” component.
KeywordsValue of Travel Time (VTT) Value Proposition of Mobility Daily travel patterns Time use
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