Information Impact on Quality of Multimodal Travel Choices: Conceptualizations and Empirical Analyses

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - methods, planning - signage/information, ridership - mode choice, technology - passenger information


Traveler information and communication systems, Structural equation modeling, Simulation, Passenger information, Multimodal transportation, Multimodal systems, Mode choice, Modal choice, Knowledge, Empirical methods, Computer simulation, Choice of transportation


Travelers generally make their travel choices in a multimodal environment where a variety of travel information might be available, and they generally base their choices on many more attributes than just travel time. This study investigates the impact of a variety of travel information types on the quality of travel choices. Choice quality is measured by comparing observed choices made under conditions of incomplete knowledge with predicted choice probabilities under complete knowledge. The potential impact of travel information also is considered along multiple attribute-dimensions of alternatives, rather than only in terms of travel time reductions. Data are obtained from a choice experiment in a multimodal travel simulator in combination with a web-based mode-choice experiment. A structural equation model is estimated to test a series of hypothesized direct and indirect relations between a traveler’s knowledge levels, information acquisition behavior and the resulting travel-choice quality. The estimation results support the hypothesized relations, which provide evidence of validity and applicability of the developed measure of travel-choice quality. Found relations in general provide some support for the often expected impact of information on the quality of travel choices. The size of the impact differs between types of information: the largest effect was for information services that generate previously unknown alternatives and the lowest was for services that provide only warnings in case of high travel times.