What is the value of additional trips?

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What is the value of additional trips?
What is the value of additional trips?


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In pondering this question, it should be remembered that people are typically making only 4 or so trips a day, so one additional trip is a 25 per cent (or so) increase. This is not a marginal change; it represents a significant increase in implied activity levels and the benefits associated therewith, which may play an important role in promoting social inclusion.

Societal arrangements and socio-economic structures influence individual opportunities and associated societal outcomes, as they relate to the risk of exclusion, the dependent variable in our analysis. People who undertake additional trips are not necessarily consciously trading-off trips for inclusion (really disadvantaged people do not often have this luxury!), In the same way they might trade off travel time savings for money. Hence, we do not suggest that our work is estimating individual Willingness to Pay for additional trips by the trip maker (s).

If trips by people at risk of mobility-related social exclusion increase, our models consistently say that people will benefit in terms of lower exclusion risk, which means (for example) fewer people in poverty, fewer unemployed and higher levels of social capital and / or community involvement. A critical point is that fewer people socially excluded has societal value beyond the value to the at-risk person (s). We argue that our trip values ​​are a measure of Societal Willingness to Pay (SWTP) for an additional trip by someone at risk of mobility-related social exclusion and that this exceeds the personal WTP of the trip maker. Why?

We suggest that this is because there are external costs associated with social exclusion, beyond the costs to the excluded person. For example, reduced exclusion often means better health outcomes and associated reductions in health system costs, lower crime rates with associated reductions in costs for the justice system, etc. There are thus both personal benefits to the at-risk person and wider societal benefits from more trips and the associated reduction in social exclusion risk. Our risk indicators reflect the idea that a rising tide (ie, reduced exclusion of some people) lifts all (most) boats (better outcomes for society more broadly) on our 5 indicators, as demonstrated (for example) by Wilkinson and Pickett (2009 ), The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. We believe that our trip values ​​include some (unspecified) part of the wider societal flow-on external benefits of reduced exclusion (hence the apparently high value). This external component might be argued to be equal to the difference between the rule-of-a-half value for additional trips and our value.

Our values ​​are an expression of the value to society, or to the common good, from increased trips and associated reduction in risk of social exclusion. We see this as a merit good, where the value to society exceeds that to the individual directly gaining the benefit. As noted, we interpret this benefit as Societal WTP: it is how society values ​​the benefit from reducing mobility-related social exclusion risks. Professor Chris Nash from ITS Leeds first drew this interpretation to our attention.

In applying our benefits, we would use our values ​​for every extra trip, as adjusted for a number of risk factors or income levels of the various groups making additional trips, and then deduct the user benefits estimated by the rule-of-a-half. Counting them too would be double counting.

Application of these ITLS derived values ​​for additional trips, as a function of the exclusion risk level or household income level of the trip maker, would lead to a step change in the merits of transport initiatives whose major purpose is to achieve a more equitable distribution of transport opportunities. This has become a major policy direction in cities such as London and Vancouver, as expressed in their most recent long term land use strategies. The values ​​for additional trips discussed herein, when used, can make a significant contribution to more equitable cities and regions.


Burchardt, T., LeGrand, J., Piachaud, D (2002), ‘Degrees of exclusion: developing a dynamic, multidimensional measure’. In J. Hills, J. Le Grand, & D. Piachaud (Eds.), Understanding social exclusion (pp. 30-43). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

KPMG (2021), Appendix C2: Suburban Rail Loop Economic Appraisal Report 15 February 2021, Author: Melbourne. Available at https://suburbanrailloop.vic.gov.au/-/media/Project/VicRoads/SuburbanRailLoop/2021-Content/Library-2021/BIC/BIC-appendices-final/Appendix-C2—Economic-Appraisal- Report.pdf

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Stanley, J., Stanley, J., Balbontin, C., Hensher, DA (2019) Social exclusion: the roles of mobility and bridging social capital in regional Australia. Transportation Research Part A, 125, 223-233. DOI: 10.1016 / j.tra.2018.05.015.

Stanley, JK, Hensher DA, Stanley, JR, Vella-Brodrick, D. (2011a), ‘Mobility, social exclusion and well-being: Exploring the links.’ Transportation Research, 45.8, 789-801.

Stanley, J, Hensher, DA, Stanley, J, Currie, G, Greene, W, Vella-Brodrick, D (2011b), ‘Social exclusion and the value of mobility.’ Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, 45, 2, 197-222.

Wilkinson and Pickett Wilkinson, R. and Pickett, K. (2009), The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, London: Penguin.


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