Value of travel time as a function of comfort

Marco Kouwenhoven*, Gerard de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


The value of travel time can theoretically be defined as the opportunity cost of travel minus the direct utility from spending the time during the trip. This paper searches for empirical evidence to support this formulation. We show that travellers who indicate that a shorter trip duration is useful or a longer trip duration is very inconvenient have a higher value of travel time. Furthermore, we show that people who can spend their travel time usefully have a lower value of travel time. Finally, the availability of a computer, laptop etc. during the trip increases the probability of travel time being useful. This study determines the sizes of these effects in a case study for The Netherlands. This is important since the value of travel time is likely to change over time. The outcomes of this paper can be used to estimate the size of the expected reduction in value of travel time as a result of future comfort improvements that increase the possibility to work, read a book, watch a movie and communicate during a trip.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Choice Modelling
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Comfort
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Discrete choice model
  • Value of travel time


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