New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Aura Reggiani and Peter Nijkamp
André de Palma and Nathalie Picard 7.1 INTRODUCTION Route choice is one of the problems that have been studied most intensively over recent decades in transportation and regional science, although, of course, engineers and geographers were not the first to discover this problem.1 We will be interested here in the choice between two different routes. One route, S, has a deterministic travel time and the other, R, has a random travel time. We will assume that there is no congestion and that the only characteristic to be taken into account is travel time. As a consequence, the problem is almost trivial, except for the fact that the travel time on one of the routes is stochastic. See, for example, de Palma et al. (1983) or AbdelAty et al. (1994) in the context of departure time choice. We underline that for an individual, the choice of a route has an uncertain outcome in terms of travel time. Moreover, the time-risk involved is assessed in different ways by people with different risk aversions. To the best of our knowledge, this feature is not explicitly introduced in the usual models of route choice, even though it appears in empirical analyses in the guise of a time reliability exogenous variable: for example, in stated preferences experiments (see de Palma and Picard 2005). One simple way to solve this two-routes-in-parallel problem is to assume that the individuals will select the route with the shortest expected travel time. Here, we assume that the expected travel time...
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