Using a scientific approach to assess the value of travel time

A worthwhile trip? Using a scientific approach to assess the value of travel time
Credit: elwynn, Shutterstock

Do you feel that you spend half your day on crowded trains, trams or buses to and from work? Losing your patience while stuck in traffic, or do you feel fortunate that you can cycle to work, burn some calories and reduce your carbon footprint? To what extent do you value travel time? The EU-funded MoTiV project is seeking answers to help commuters track, understand and evaluate their travel decisions and enable the development of more efficient mobility systems.

Using the Woorti smartphone app, MoTiV project partners have collected data on user preferences and behaviors regarding their door-to-door travel experiences. Taking into consideration the economic dimension of mobility as well as motivations, preferences and behaviors linked to the broader concept of individual well-being, the MoTiV project has been exploring a new definition of value of . The results will allow researchers to study and redefine how the time dedicated to travel is valued by individuals, and how this information could be utilized by urban planners to design and evaluate transport systems.

Holistic approach

The MoTiV data collection campaign was launched in May 2019, coinciding with the release of the Woorti 1.0 app on both iOS and Android platforms. As noted in a news release on the project website, during the 3-month-long first phase, MoTiV partners enrolled more than 800 active users and collected data for over 15 000 validated trips. The second phase, which also took three months, coincided with the release of the Woorti 2.0 app. During data collection, partners from Finland, Slovakia and Spain participated in various outreach events. In addition, an online promotion of the Woorti app was held throughout the data collection campaign period. At the end of this period, "both Slovakia and Spain achieved 500 valid samples of active users and collected more than 10000 validated trips per country," according to the news release. "Users in Norway, Belgium and Portugal submitted data on at least 7000 trips in each country. Finland has more than 450 active users and has recorded almost 7000 trips."

Overall, MoTiV project partners and third parties in Belgium, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain collected information on a total of over 65 000 trips by 5,600 users. The outcome will enable further "research that will help replace car centered transport paradigms with a more holistic, multi-modal approach."

As noted in a news item, "walking has been the highest modal share by time at the aggregate level, with some 28 percent of travel time spent on foot. This is explained by the fact that most door-to-door trips, on any combination of transport modes, usually start and end by walking." The findings also show that "car journeys come first in mode share by distance, representing almost 50 percent of all distance traveled (including both driver and passenger trips)."

The MoTiV (Mobility and Time Value) project that targets potential decision-makers and policymakers will offer ready-to-use information and evidence. MoTiV partners hope that the results and findings will demonstrate socioeconomic and environmental impact and their methodology will eventually lead to energy savings and emission reductions.


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More information: MoTiV project website: motivproject.eu/
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