The value of travel speed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Travel speed is an intrinsic feature of transport, and enlarging the speed is considered as beneficial. The benefit of a speed increase is generally assessed as the value of the saved travel time. However, this approach conflicts with the observation that time spent on travelling is rather constant and might not be affected by speed changes. The paper aims to define the benefits of a speed increase and addresses two research questions. First, how will a speed increase in person transport work out, which factors are affected? Second, is the value of time a good proxy for the value of speed? Based on studies on time spending (among others) we argue that human wealth is the main affected factor by speed changes, rather than time or access. Then the value of time is not a good proxy for the value of speed, because the benefits of a wealth increase are negatively correlated with prosperity while the calculated benefits of saved travel time prove to be positively correlated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the BIVEC-GIBET Transport Research Days 2021
Subtitle of host publicationThe role of transport in urban, energy and climate transitions
EditorsBert van Wee
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventTransport Research Days 2021: The role of transport in urban, energy and climate transitions - Virtual event
Duration: 27 May 202128 May 2021


ConferenceTransport Research Days 2021
Internet address


  • travel speed
  • travel time
  • access
  • human wealth
  • assessment
  • happiness


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