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Overreporting vs. Overreacting: Commuters' Perceptions of Travel Times

Stefanie Peer (), Jasper Knockaert, Paul Koster () and Erik Verhoef ()
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Jasper Knockaert: VU University Amsterdam

No 13-123/VIII, Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers from Tinbergen Institute

Abstract: We asked participants of a large-scale, real-life peak avoidance experiment to provide estimates of their average in-vehicle travel time for their morning commute. Comparing these reported travel times to the corresponding actual travel times, we find that travel times are overstated by a factor of 1.5 on average. We show that driver- and link-speci c characteristics partially explain the overstating. Using stated and revealed preference data, we investigate whether the driverspecific reporting errors are consistent with the drivers' scheduling behavior in reality as well as in hypothetical choice experiments. For neither case, we find robust evidence that drivers behave as if they misperceived travel times to a similar extent as they misreported them, implying that reported travel times do neither represent actual nor perceived travel times truthfully. The results presented in this paper are thus a strong caveat against the uncritical use of reported travel time data in transport research and policy.

Keywords: travel time perception; reported travel times; valuation of travel time; departure time choices; peak avoidance experiment; panel latent class models; revealed preference (RP) data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C25 D83 D84 R41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-08-26, Revised 2013-08-25
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm, nep-exp, nep-tre and nep-ure
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