Publication Detail

Understanding Commuters' Attitudes, Uncertainties, and Decision-Making and Their Implications for Route Choice


Research Report

Suggested Citation:
Abdel-Aty, Mohamed A., Ryuichi Kitamura, Paul P. Jovanis, Kenneth M. Vaughn (1994) Understanding Commuters' Attitudes, Uncertainties, and Decision-Making and Their Implications for Route Choice. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-94-05

A second computer-aided telephone interview (CATI) survey was designed to gain in-depth understanding of commuters' perceptions and decision processes, to study the effect of travel time uncertainty on route choice, and to study carpool characteristics. The survey was undertaken in May 1993, targeting the same sample of commuters interviewed in May/June 1992. An attrition model illustrated that income and gender are among the significant socioeconomic variables that increase the probability of a respondent participating in the second wave of the survey.

General descriptive statistics and cross tabulations showed several trends and characteristics in the sample. The main reasons for hanging the commute route beside changing home or work locations are avoiding congestion and finding a faster route. The majority of the respondents reported that on some days they experience up to 10 minutes increase than their normal travel time. Females are generally more concerned than males regarding traffic safety, unsafe neighborhoods, and the existence of buses and trucks in traffic. The results also showed that females and younger respondents are more likely to carpool than males and older respondents. Carpoolers changed their routes less frequently than solo drivers, and the carpool driver is usually the person that chooses the commute route.

Factor analysis performed on some attitudinal variables produced three factors, which are named: shorter commute, safety and comfort, and perceptions of the ease of driving. Multinomial logit models are used to estimate commuters' choice when faced with a traffic related incident, and illustrated the influence of gender, carpool, receiving traffic information, and the perception of neighborhood security and congestion, on the decision to stay on the same commute route or divert around the location of the incident or to another route. Binary logit models used to predict the choices between two hypothetical routes illustrated the significance of commuters' attitudes, travel time variation, gender, and traffic information, on the route choice.