Exploring the Positive Utility of Travel and Mode Choice: Subjective Well-Being and Travel-Based Multitasking During the Commute
15th International Conference on Travel Behavior Research
Santa Barbara, CA
The Positive Utility of Travel (PUT) concept encompasses both intrinsic motivations for travel (and for traveling in certain ways) and non-destination-oriented benefits of the act of traveling. There are two major sources of benefits: positive travel experiences (subjective well-being) and in-travel activity participation (travel-based multitasking). The PUT concept has rarely been examined in mode choice analysis due to lack of data for non-chosen alternatives. This chapter investigates associations between mode choice and these two PUT dimensions (well-being and multitasking) using a novel revealed preference study in which PUT attributes were measured for chosen as well as for alternative modes. Data from a survey of 546 commuters in Portland, Oregon, were analyzed using an integrated choice and latent variable mode choice model. Results found a strong and positive association between a measure of travel well-being (the Satisfaction with Travel Scale) and mode choice; results for travel-based multitasking were more ambiguous. Findings suggest that travelers may consider experiences and expectations regarding their well-being and happiness when choosing a commute mode, but also that in-travel multitasking may be more about “killing time” than being productive. This study is among the first to demonstrate evidence consistent with PUT measures directly impacting mode choice behavior.
Singleton, P. A. (2018 July). Exploring the Positive Utility of Travel and mode choice: Subjective well-being and travel-based multitasking during the commute. Presented at the 15th International Conference on Travel Behavior Research, Santa Barbara, CA.