טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentBarlach Yotam
SubjectThe Existence of Hedonic(Emotional) Preference in Choosing
Public Transit Modes
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisors Professor Emeritus Daniel Shefer
Professor Yoram Shiftan
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Most of the existing models for travel mode choice overlook the impact of the transit vehicle technology on the perceived attractiveness of the respective travel option. A debate is ongoing in the academic literature on whether the provision of a transit service by rail has an advantage compares to bus. A comparison of revealed travel patterns between areas served by either rail or bus systems shows mixed results. The current study turns the spotlight on some relevant consumer behavior research in the marketing field, and adopts some measurement tools from that field for use in transportation research. Considering a transit mode as a product, and passengers as consumers, allows us to utilize marketing tools when investigating consumers’ attitudes towards this product. We developed a model based on the marketing literature,- a loyalty mechanism model -  which describes the decision making process of a product. A consumer’s choice process, according to the marketing literature, is motivated by three types of product values: a utilitarian value, which encapsulates the functionality of the product for the consumer; a switching value, which reflects the technical effort in switching from one product to another; and a hedonic value, which captures the emotion experience associated with the product in the consumer’s mind. The outcome of the model is twofold: satisfaction and loyalty. While the satisfaction is a short-term judgment of the product, the loyalty reflects the consumer’s attitude and commitment towards the product in the long term.

 The main part of the study has two main objectives:

  1. To assess the validity of the loyalty model in the context of travel mode choice;
  2. To asses the effect of the above mentioned marketing factors in a mode choice model.

The research methodology for the main part of the study included four main steps:

  1. A wide passenger survey and a descriptive data profile.
  2. Factor analysis.
  3. Validation using a Structural Equation Model (SEM).
  4. Application of the Logit modelling.

Key conclusions from this study include the following:

  1. The loyalty factor makes a valuable contribution in explaining the choice between transit modes;
  2. The loyalty factor can significantly improve the predictive power of a mode choice model;
  3. Passengers have a higher level of loyalty, and stronger emotional attitude, toward rail travel when compared to bus travel.