Valuation of travel time reliability from a GPS-based experimental design

Carlos Carrion, David Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


In the Minneapolis-St. Paul region (Twin Cities), the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) converted the Interstate 394 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes (or MnPASS Express Lanes). These lanes allow single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) to access the HOV lanes by paying a fee. This fee is adjusted according to a dynamic pricing system that varies with the current demand. This paper estimates the value placed by the travelers on the HOT lanes because of improvements in travel time reliability. This value depends on how the travelers regard a route with predictable travel times (or small travel time variability) in comparison to another with unpredictable travel times (or high travel time variability). For this purpose, commuters are recruited and equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and instructed to commute for two weeks on each of three plausible alternatives between their home in the western suburbs of Minneapolis eastbound to work in downtown or the University of Minnesota: I-394 HOT lanes, I-394 General Purpose lanes (untolled), and signalized arterials close to the I-394 corridor. They are then given the opportunity to travel on their preferred route after experiencing each alternative. This revealed preference data is then analyzed using discrete choice models of route. Three measures of reliability are explored and incorporated in the estimation of the models: standard deviation (a classical measure in the research literature); shortened right range (typically found in departure time choice models); and interquartile range (75th-25th percentile). Each of these measures represents distinct ways about how travelers deal with different sections of reliability. In all the models, it was found that reliability was valued highly (and statistically significantly), but differently according to how it was defined. The estimated value of reliability in each of the models indicates that commuters are willing to pay a fee for a reliable route depending on how they value their reliability savings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-323
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is supported by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (2008-130 Value of Reliability and 2009-248 Value of Reliability Phase II). We would also like to thank Kathleen Harder, John Bloomfield, Shanjiang Zhu for collaborating in survey design and data collection. In addition, the collaboration of Brian Corcoran (at in providing the authors with a I-394’s toll database is highly appreciated.


  • Bootstrap
  • GPS
  • I-394 HOT
  • Mixed logit
  • MnPass
  • Random utility
  • Route choice
  • Time reliability


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