[Academic News] The research team of Pro.WANG Yacan Published an Academic Paper in “Transport Research Part A” , a Top Journal of Transport Economics
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The cooperative paper of “Commuter value perceptions in peak avoidance behavior: An empirical study in the Beijing subway system” wrote by Pro. WANG Yacan, Associate Pro. ZHOU Huiyu and PHD student WANG Yu, have been published recently in the top Journal of “Transportation Economics, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice”. 


The serious traffic congestion in megacities is not only reflected in the road traffic, but also increasingly prominent in the aspect of rail transit. The heaviest travel of passengers demand during rush hours leads to overcrowding of urban rail transit represented by subway, causing a series of problems such as unstable operation and poor passengers’ travel experience. More and more subway systems have adopted demand management policies to encourage commuters to staggered shifts so as to smooth the passenger flow and reduce the peak load. In an effort to ease subway congestion in Beijing, in December 2015, 16 subway stations on the Changping and Batong lines were implemented the policy of off-peak fares, offering passengers a 30 percent discount when they arrived before 7 a.m.

Most of the previous studies have explored the influence of observable variables on travel choice of travelers, but few articles have focused on the influence of latent psychological variables on the travel behavior of travelers. How the tradeoff between the cost and benefit of behavior changes in the travelers’ mind under the policy context affects the final behavior decision. In this study, a sequential selection Model (O-Logit Model) and a Structural Equation Model (Integrated Choice and Latent Variable Model, ICLV) were constructed, and observable demographic variables, commuting characteristic variables and invisible Latent variables of perceived value psychology were Integrated into the utility model. This paper explores the formation mechanism of travelers' alternative, perceived value and studies how perceived value and observable variables jointly affect travelers' intention to the misspeak. The processes of latent variable measurement and utility estimation are carried out simultaneously, which improves the explanatory power of the model results. The results show that there is a general psychological tradeoff between perceived gain and perceived loss when travelers make the wrong peak choice. Social norms, habitual behaviors, subjective feelings, and off-peak experiences all have a significant impact on travelers' perceived value. Meanwhile, travelers are more likely to make off-peak choices when their perception gap between new travel behaviors and habitual travel behaviors is smaller, and previous off-peak experiences can effectively reduce such perception gap. In this paper, the classical perceptive value theory of business theory is introduced into the field of traffic travel and the decision-making mechanism of subway travelers under the excitation of Beijing off-peak ticket price is explored, which is conducive to revealing the "Psychological Black Box" that induces the behavioral changes of travelers and providing theoretical framework and empirical reference for improving the behavioral response effect of the subway demand regulation policy.

Transportation Research, Part A: Policy and Practice” is a top international journal in the field of Transportation Research, with impact factor of 3.992. It is ABS (Association of British Business Schools) 3-Star journal, ABDC (Council of Deans of Australian Business Schools) 4-Star journal. The first author of the paper is WANG Yu, a PHD student of Class of 2018, Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, and his supervisor is Pro. WANG Yacan.  He has published three SSCI papers, including one each for “Transportation Research, Part A”, and “Transportation Research, Part F”. Co-authors of this study include Pro. Dick Ettema of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Associate Pro. MAO Zidan of SUN Yat-sen University, and Pro. Samuel G. Charlton of Waikato University in New Zealand.

This research is the crystallization of the sincere cooperation of the international scientific research cooperation team led by Pro. WANG Yacan. In recent years, Pro. WANG has made full use of the distinctive scientific research advantages of the school, introducing a large number of international top experts, and giving full play to the advantages and expertise of its members. She has built an elite scientific research team with pioneering ability and international vision, and achieved fruitful scientific research achievements.