Could a New Mode Alternative Modify Psycho-Attitudinal Factors and Travel Behavior?

Transportation Research Record

There is ample consensus that, besides objective characteristics, psycho-attitudinal factors play a key role in influencing people’s mode choice. Hybrid choice models use these theoretical frameworks so as to include latent constructs for capturing the impact of subjective factors on mode choice. But recent work in transportation research raised the question about the ability of hybrid choice models to derive policy implications that aim to change travel behavior, given the focus on cross-sectional data. To address this problem we designed a survey for collecting longitudinal data (socio-economic and psycho-attitudinal) to evaluate, on the one hand, the long-term effects on travel mode choice of the implementation of a new light rail line in the metropolitan area of Cagliari (Italy), on the other to detect any changes in the psycho-attitudinal factors and socio-economic characteristics after implementation of those measures. In particular, the objective of the study is to analyze whether these changes in individual characteristics are able to affect mode choice from a modeling perspective, through the specification and estimation of hybrid models. Our results show that latent variables were not significantly different over waves, showing that the impact of the psychological construct remained stable over time, even after the introduction of the new light rail. Additionally, we found some evidence that the variables that explain the latent variables could change over time.