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Heuristics and Biases in Travel Mode Choice

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Document pages: 31 pages

Abstract: This study applies experimental methods to analyze travel mode choice. Two different scenarios are considered. In the first scenario, subjects have to decide whether to commute by car or by metro. Metro costs are fixed, while car costs are uncertain and determined by the joint effect of casual events and traffic congestion. In the second scenario, subjects have to decide whether to travel by car or by bus, both modes in which costs are determined by the combination of chance and congestion. Subjects receive feedback information on the actual travel times of both modes. We find that individuals exhibit a marked preference for cars, are inclined to confirm their first choice and demonstrate travel mode stickiness. We conclude that travel mode choice is subject to heuristics and biases that lead to robust deviations from rational choice.

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