Travel valuations (VTT & VTTR) in the Netherlands

The valuation of travel time, reliability and comfort is an expression of travel preferences in monetary terms and are a key input for societal cost-benefit analysis (CBA) for transport and mobility projects.

 

 

 

 

Significance has executed a study commissioned by the KiM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis to acquire new valuation of travel time (VTT), reliability (VTTR) and comfort (VTTC) for passenger and freight transport. The new values are acquired by an extensive stated preference questionnaire of over 9,700 respondents, combining and refining the latest academic insights from reputable international sources.

Goal and approach of the study

Minimal changes to travel valuation figures can make or break societal CBAs of transport and mobility projects. Therefore, it is important that travel valuations are accurate and reliable. The last Dutch travel valuation study dates back to 2013. The goal of this new study was to acquire a new, consistent set of travel valuations for travel time, reliability and comfort in the Netherlands. These valuations are the official national Dutch figures from January 1st 2024 onwards. Significance executed a nation-wide study including data collection, model development and analyses to acquire new valuations. Passenger transport valuations were inferred from a stated preference research among 9,700 respondents. For freight transportation a method was developed to determine travel time valuations from existing freight cost figures.

Data collection and model estimation

The national averaged VTT and VTTR for passenger transport are derived from Stated Preference (SP) choice experiments. A questionnaire is distributed among a target audience, containing questions regarding trip characteristics, personal characteristics and several choice experiments. In the experiment, respondents are asked to choose between hypothetical alternatives, each describing a trip in terms of travel time, travel cost and possibly other characteristics. Respondents are asked each time which alternative is preferred.

Discrete choice models are adopted to translate these preferences into travel valuations. When developing these models it is vital to account for the reference trip of the respondent; every person is different and travels differently. Factors to take into account are:

• General trip characteristics (trip purpose or income level)
• Personal characteristics (age or state of employment)
• Trip-specific characteristics (trip made in peak or not)

 

These factors can all influence one’s travel preferences, but national averaged VTT, VTTR and VTTC must be disentangled from these factors. To achieve this, highly advanced discrete choice models are needed. Significance has developed state-of-the-art choice models by combining and refining recent academic insights in the field of stated preference and discrete choice modelling to acquire reliable travel valuations.

Results

De public report of the KiM Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis of the study can be downloaded here (NL) te vinden. The technical report is written by Significance (in English) and can be accessed through this link. The technical report contains detailed information on the experimental design of the stated preference study and details the development of the discrete choice models.