Uncovering the Distribution of Motorists’ Preferences for Travel Time and Reliability

Kenneth A. Small, Clifford Winston, and Jia Yan
Jia Yan Associate Professor - School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University

February 15, 2005

Executive Summary

We apply recent econometric advances to study the distribution of commuters’ preferences for speedy and reliable highway travel. Our analysis applies mixed logic to combined revealed and stated preference data on commuter choices of whether to pay a toll for congestion-free express travel. We find that motorists exhibit high values of travel time and reliability and substantial heterogeneity in those values. We suggest that road pricing policies designed to cater to such varying preferences can improve efficiency and reduce the disparity of welfare impacts compared with recent pricing experiments.