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CORDIS - EU research results

Mobility and Time Value

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MoTiV (Mobility and Time Value)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2020-07-31

Mobility and travel time account for a significant portion of everyone’s life. Despite this significance, we do not know much about what the Value of Travel Time (VTT) means for travellers. Depending on a large number of factors, travel time can be used more efficiently or just experienced differently by different people. MoTiV aims at reducing this knowledge gap by addressing emerging views and perspectives on VTT and adopting travellers’ viewpoint. In this respect, it does not only focus on the economic value of travel time savings, which is central to VTT studies carried out since the 1960s to support transport appraisals. Rather, it adopts a broader conceptual framework that attempts to quantify how endogenous and exogenous factors shape the individual travel experience for various trip purposes, thus contributing to the sense of “wasted” or “worthwhile” travel time.

Through a smartphone-based data collection, the project aims at collecting a sample from at least 4,000 participants from minimum 8 European countries. The dataset is expected to cover a wide range of mobility behaviours, across all transport modes, and to be balanced in terms of gender representation, as well as in geographical and generational coverage. Besides adding to the body of VTT research, the project results are expected to contribute to the development of mobility services, including digital applications, supporting travellers to make better use of their travel time. Furthermore, the project results will provide visibility into the factors that contribute to a worthwhile experience in travel on different transport modes (public, active/semi-active or private motorised), therefore providing valuable data and evidence for investing in higher quality of transport as an alternative to investing in speedier transport.
The first 18 months of the MoTiV activities largely focused on establishing the internal conditions for the achievement of the main results of the project during the second period.
The MoTiV conceptual framework contains a comprehensive review of emerging VTT conceptualisations, models and results. Common to these approaches is the idea that investments and policies in transport infrastructure and services should support a large variety of requirements and objectives, not only of an economic nature. These requirements include, among others, accessibility, equity, empowerment, participation, environmental friendliness, individual health and well-being. The MoTiV conceptual framework is grounded on the notion of Value Proposition of Mobility (VPM): this can be regarded as the value embedded in individual mobility choices. As such, the value proposition of mobility is focused on the individual traveller and his/her perceived travel experience. The VPM perspective is based on the idea that each transport mode, or combination of transport modes, provides a different value proposition to the traveller in a specific mobility situation. Time and cost savings represent only two of these factors, not necessarily the one contributing the most to VTT. The MoTiV conceptual framework illustrates how the notion of VPM in MoTiV is explored by combining several existing concepts and models on VTT. among them, the concept of Reasonable Travel Time (RTT) was adopted to develop a holistic approach to decompose the multiple dimensions of the VPM into a set of hypotheses to be verified through the MoTiV data collection.
At an organisational level, the MoTiV consortium discussed and agreed the general requirements, targets and modalities for the Data Collection Campaigns (DCC) to take place in the participating countries with the common goal of collecting at least 4,000 samples. To meet the ambition of the data collection, user engagement was a key requirement. Due to the specific needs of the MoTiV DCC, the consortium developed its own smartphone app with a well-defined brand: “Make your journey worthwhile” is the slogan of the Woorti app, which was available in iOS and Android app stores from 30 April 2019. The technological development of the Woorti app, designed around the complex requirements of the conceptual framework. The European-wide MoTiV data collection campaign (DCC) was conducted in two phases between May and December 2019.The analysis of the results based on the MoTiV dataset revealed factors influencing the value of travel time as perceived by travellers across genders and generations in connection with cultural and social contexts in 8 EU countries. The cost-benefit analysis has also been conducted from the perspective of Value of Travel Time. These findings have been combined into an attractive policy and business report discussing the value of user data in transport and the importance of travel time and suggesting recommendations related to making alternative modes more attractive than motorised transport, use of ICT in transport, transport services and infrastructure and the promotion of ride-sharing services which was disseminated both online and at relevant events to policy and business actors.
During the second part of the project, through the collection and analysis of the MoTiV dataset has revealed a variety of different attributes that travellers perceive as important when evaluating their travel time. The ‘Ability to do what I wanted’, the ‘Scenery’ or ‘Other people’ were selected among the most frequent experience factors reported by users of the app, demonstrating that travellers perspective differs significantly compared to the approach of conventional planning where time and cost are the main players of time savings. Investigating such qualitative aspects of the value of travel time can improve travel experience and guide policies towards shaping more sustainable travel patterns.The MoTiV project has also made a significant contribution to improving the appraisal of transport projects through cost-benefit analysis (CBA). It has provided a unique novel attempt to quantify worthwhileness and to develop this into an index (Worthwhileness Index WI).

In conclusion, the findings of the MoTiV data analysis can provide the basis for further research revealing at the same time the areas of improvement in terms of the methodology and tools used. Overall, and perhaps more importantly, the MoTiV results make the case that from a traveller perspective, the experience of travel time matters, which places the user experience in a central role in transport planning. They bring important insights for conventional transport planning and assessment tools that are currently based on a more simplified set of variables such as travel costs and absolute time savings on mode-specific portions of door-to-door trips. Furthermore, the results provide important implications for urban and transport planners, policy makers and authorities to update the current assessment methodology for transport projects, contributing to a gender-sensitive and inclusive design of future mobility services and transport infrastructure (e.g. Mobility as a Service, Active and Electric Micro-mobility, Connected and Automated Driving). Ultimately, this knowledge is expected to support inclusive transport policies balancing the ‘need for speed’ and ‘accessibility’ with investments that increase the perceived quality of travel time, increasing individuals’ well-being and ensuring integration of all different groups of the population in the society, aiming at closing the existing equity gap.
Nanpu bridge inspiring MoTiV logo