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An empirical assessment of Dutch citizens' preferences for spatial equality in the context of a national transport investment plan

Niek Mouter, Sander van Cranenburgh and Bert van Wee

Journal of Transport Geography, 2017, vol. 60, issue C, 217-230

Abstract: This study presents empirical insights into Dutch citizens' preferences for spatial equality in the context of decision-making regarding the composition of a national transport investment plan. To the best of our knowledge, our study is the first study worldwide which empirically investigates citizens' preferences for the spatial distribution of benefits accruing from a transport investment plan. We conducted two Stated Choice experiments: one involving an investment plan for travel time savings, the other involving an investment plan for traffic safety. Our results show that in the context of travel time savings, a vast majority of citizens has a strong preference for spatial equality. When the investment program involves traffic safety improvements, the share of citizens that has a preference for spatial equality is considerably smaller. Specifically, using a Latent class discrete choice analysis we identified distinct segments. The first segment has a very strong preference for the investment program having the largest total reduction in traffic deaths; the second segment assigns a substantial value to an equal distribution of reductions of traffic deaths across the Netherlands. Highly educated citizens are found to have a relatively strong preference for spatial equality as compared to low educated citizens. Contrary to our expectations, explanatory variables such as political orientation, income, car ownership and region of residence do not appear to associate with citizens' preferences for spatial equality.

Date: 2017
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