Value of travel time.
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Value of travel time.

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    Knowingly or not, people generally place economic value on their time. Wage workers are paid a rate per hour, and service providers may charge per hour of their time. In the transportation realm, travelers place a value on their travel time and have shown a willingness to pay if there is a chance of lowering their travel time. For example, if someone is in the central business district of a large city, it might be cheapest to walk to a given destination. However, if the traveler has a particularly high value of travel time, the person might elect to pay for a ride to get to his or her destination faster. Similarly, a person driving a car might be faced with the choice between sitting in congestion or electing to pay to travel on a congestion-free toll facility (assuming one is available). Travelers with high values of time will likely choose to take the tolled route. The value of a particular driver’s travel time largely dictates his or her travel decisions, with factors such as availability of travel options and ability to pay also influencing those decisions. The value of travel time for a particular person varies significantly based on any number of factors, such as: - The purpose and type of trip (e.g., commuting, recreational, or business related). - The characteristics of the traveler (e.g., income). - The transportation mode (e.g., bus, car, or walk). - Travel conditions (e.g., poor weather or the presence of congestion). - The time of the year, week, or day (e.g., going home at the end of the day versus going to work in the morning). - The location (intercity/interstate versus local trips). The value of travel time might also be different for two commercial vehicles sitting next to each other on the freeway if one is scheduled to make a delivery within the hour and the other is just beginning a long, multi-state trip.
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