How does satisfaction sum up?

Is satisfaction the sum of its parts? Behavioral scientists such as Daniel Kahneman and Dan Ariely provide ample evidence that human experience is not a simple summation of its parts. Different biases such as recency and salience effects have been observed.

How is it then with travel satisfaction? Is satisfaction with the door-to-door journey simply the sum of its parts? does the last part determine the overall impression? or does the worst experience loom over anything else?

Read the results of our research – together with Roberto Abenoza and Yusak Susilo from KTH – published in Transportation here. (open access)

TRB 2018

Looking forward to meeting many colleagues and friends at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 97th Annual Meeting in Washington DC next week (January 7-11)!

The following studies which I have been involved in together with students and colleagues will be presented at TRB this year:

  1. The Potential of Demand Responsive Transport as a Complement to Public Transport: An Assessment Framework and an Empirical Evaluation. (Session 293, Monday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM Convention Center, 147A) Alonso-Gonzalez M., Liu T., Cats O., van Oort N. and Hoogendoorn S.
  2. Individual, Travel and Bus Stop Characteristics Influencing Traverlers’ Safety Perceptions. (Session 556, Tuesday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM Convention Center, 143B) Abenoza R.F., Ceccato V., Susilo Y. and Cats O.
  3. Constructing Spatiotemporal Load Profiles of Transit Vehicles with Multiple Data Sources. (Session 649, Tuesday 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM Convention Center, Hall E) Lou D., Bonnetain L., Cats O. and van Lint H.
  4. Strategic Planning and Prospects of Rail-bound Demand Responsive Transit. (Session 660, Tuesday 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM Convention Center, Hall E) Cats O. and Haverkamp J.
  5. Demand-anticipatory Flexible Public Transport Service. (Session 784, Tuesday 8:00 AM- 9:45 PM Convention Center, Hall E) van Engelen M., Cats O., Post H. and Aardal K.

In addition, will be presiding:

  • Poster session 650 on Transit Service Disruptions: Impacts and Mitigation Measures (Tuesday 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM, Convention Center, Hall E)
  • Poster session 651 on Economic and Optimization Models for Integrated Service Planning (Tuesday 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM, Convention Center, Hall E)

In conjunction with the TRB conference, Jaime Soza Parra and I meet with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on Jan 11 to present and discuss the preliminary results of our evaluation of their headway-control experiment.

hEART2017 conference

I participate in the hEART conference which take place this week in the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa.

After hosting it last year in Delft, it is great to attend it in the campus where I have studied for four years and excited to share the experience gained in the following studies:

  1. “Coordinating Merging Public Transport Operations Using Holding Control Strategies” presented by Georgios Laskaris
  2. “Tactical Service Design and Vehicle Allocation Optimization“, which I present
  3. “An Integrated Trip Assignment Model for Passenger Rail Systems” presented by Flurin Hänseler
  4. “Traveler’s Perceived Safety at Bus Stops in Stockholm, Sweden”, presented by Roberto Fernandez Abenoza

How much are you willing to pay for flight safety?

Following the tragic events of MH17 plane crash where 298 passengers and crew members were killed in July 2014 (for details see this article on the BBC), flight safety and security was high on the public agenda in the Netherlands.

This made me wonder:

(1) how important is safety in our choice of flight?

(2) what are the factors that determine how safe do we perceive a flight alternative to be?

Joey Blange decided to take this challenge for his master thesis work, and together with Eric Molin and Caspar Chorus, we designed two stated preference experiments: in a first experiment, combinations of airline and route attributes are evaluated in terms of safety that is captured on a rating scale; in a second experiment, safety perception is treated as an attribute and traded-off against other flight attributes to arrive at a flight choice

The results of both models are then combined to calculate the willingness to pay values for improvements made to a range of airline and route attributes, taking into account socio-demographic variables and psychological traits. The median willingness to pay value to improve safety perception with 1 point on a 1-7 scale varies between 75 and 448 euro, depending greatly on the initial value.

For the full details of the study including the results, see our publication on the Journal of Air Transport Management. 

Two public transport proposals granted

Two public transport projects will be soon launched in the Department of Transport and Planning at TU Delft:

(1) SCRIPTS – on flexible demand-anticipatory services. Granted in the Smart Urban Regions in the Future (SURF) program by NWO [2016-2018; total of 1,800,000€, of which 500,000€ in TU Delft]. ‘Smart Cities’ Responsive Intelligent Public Transport Systems’ will develop advanced models for the optimal design of hybrid public transport systems, involving demand responsive transport services that are flexible in route and schedule and (self-)organized through ICT platforms, and the simulation of their performance, including a series of pilots and showcases.

(2) TRANS-FORM – on real-time transfer and congestion management. Granted in the Co-fund Smart Cities and Communities (ENSCC) call [2016-2018; total of 1,800,000€, of which 315,000€ in TU Delft]. A consortium of universities, industrial partners, public authorities and private operators from Switzerland, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands, led by TU Delft. ‘Smart Transfers through Unravelling Urban Form and Travel Flow Dynamics’ will develop a multi-level approach for monitoring, mapping, analyzing and managing urban dynamics in relation to interchanging travel flows. Analysis of pedestrian and traveler flows at the hub, urban and regional networks.

Three new PhD positions in the area of public transport modelling will be soon available to work in these projects. Relevant background and skills include simulation modelling, network analysis and optimization.

UPDATE (28-01-2016):

Interested? See the job ad here. Applications are due by February 10.