The Importance of Being Early
International Transport Economics Conference, June 2009, Minneapolis. Presented at International Association of Travel Behavior Research, December 2009
21 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2011 Last revised: 22 Jan 2011
Date Written: May 29, 2009
The assumption that the penalty for being early is less than that for being late was put forward by Vickrey (1963) who analyzed how commuters compare penalties in the form of schedule delay (due to peak hour congestion), against penalties in the form of reaching their destination (ahead or behind their desired time of arrival). This assumption has been tested by many researchers since then for various applications, especially in modeling congestion pricing (Arnott et al., 1990) where it is critical to understand the tradeoff between schedule delay and travel delay. Key findings are summarized in the second section of this paper. This research aims to test this hypothesis of earliness being less expensive than lateness using empirical data at different levels and across different regions. New methods to estimate the ratio of earliness to lateness for different types of datasets are developed, which could be used by agencies to implement control policies like congestion pricing or other schemes more accurately. Travel survey data from metropolitan areas provide individual travel patterns while loop detector data provide link level traffic flow data.
The remainder of the paper is or oanized as follows: following a brief literature review, the next section provides a description of the theoretical model utilized in this paper. The next two sections describe the methodologies used to test the earliness over lateness hypothesis from travel survey data and loop detector data. The final section of the paper will provide a discussion of the findings and implications of the study.
Keywords: congestion, time, earliness, lateness, travel
JEL Classification: R40, R41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation