Day-to-day modal choice with a Pareto improvement or zero-sum revenue scheme

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting, ridership - perceptions, ridership - mode choice, mode - bus, economics - revenue, economics - subsidy


Dynamical system, Modal choice, Stochastic user equilibrium (SUE), Pareto improvement, Zero-sum revenue


We investigate the day-to-day modal choice of commuters in a bi-modal transportation system comprising both private transport and public transit. On each day, commuters adjust their modal choice, based on the previous day's perceived travel cost and intraday toll or subsidy of each mode, to minimize their perceived travel cost. Meanwhile, the transportation authority sets the number of bus runs and the tolls or subsidies of two modes on each day, based on the previous day's modal choice of commuters, to simultaneously reduce the daily total actual travel cost of the transportation system and achieve a Pareto improvement or zero-sum revenue target at a stationary state. The evolution process of the modal choice of commuters, associated with the strategy adjustment process of the authority, is formulated as a dynamical system model. We analyze several properties of the dynamical system with respect to its stationary point and evolutionary trajectory. Moreover, we introduce new concepts of Pareto improvement and zero-sum revenue in a day-to-day dynamic setting and propose the two targets’ implementations in either a prior or a posterior form. We show that, although commuters have different perceived travel costs for using the same travel mode, the authority need not know the probability distribution of perceived travel costs of commuters to achieve the Pareto improvement target. Finally, we give a set of numerical examples to show the properties of the model and the implementation of the toll or subsidy schemes.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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