Could you also have made this trip by another mode? An investigation of perceived travel possibilities of car and train travellers on the main travel corridors to the city of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, planning - signage/information, ridership - mode choice, ridership - perceptions, organisation - regulation, mode - rail, mode - car, mode - other


Trip characteristics, Transportation corridors, Transportation alternatives, Traffic corridors, Theory, Theories, Theoretical analysis, Railways, Railroads, Policy, legislation and regulation, Perceptions, Mode choice, Modal choice, Information dissemination, Corridors (Transportation), Choice of transportation, Automobiles, Analysis, Amsterdam (Netherlands)


The authors investigated perceived travel possibilities (or subjective choice-sets, consideration-sets) of car and train travellers on the main corridors to the city of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and associations with traveller and trip characteristics. The authors conducted secondary analysis on a survey sample consisting of 7,950 train and 19,232 car travellers. Forty-five percent of train travellers had a car in their objective choice-set, 27% of them would however never use it for this trip. Trip destination city centre, trip purpose, paying for the trip, public transport commitment, traffic congestion and parking problems were associated with consideration of car as alternative. Forty-two percent of car travellers had public transport in their subjective choice-set. The ratio between perceived public transport and objective car travel time stood out as determinant of consideration-sets, next to destination city centre, trip purpose, travel time and private versus company car ownership. On average, car travellers' perceptions of public transport travel time exceeded objective values by 46%. The authors estimated that if perceptions would be more accurate, two out of three car travellers that currently do not see public transport as an alternative would include it in their choice-set, and use it from time to time. This effect has strong theoretical and policy implications.


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