This survey research describes an experiment that addresses travel decisions of trip makers for noncommuting trips. The survey considers recreational shopping trips for which trip makers can choose both destination and desired arrival time. An interactive stated preference instrument, the survey was designed and implemented for access and administration via the Internet. It was easily accessible and completely self-administered; participants could run the survey without the help of a project staff member. Data were also gathered automatically. Survey respondents were asked to make two shopping trips. They were provided with pretrip and en route traffic information for trips to shopping malls by predetermined routes. Respondents were asked their preferences concerning information items, factors affecting their mall choice, demographics, and familiarity with their residence and the shopping malls. The recruitment method by e-mail and the requirement to have Internet access led to a slightly biased sample-young males, many with higher education, were overrepresented in the sample. Results showed that respondents choose their shopping mall based on characteristics of the mall but that trip makers divert from their route when provided with delay information during their trip. It was found that about 25 percent of respondents even change their destination. Of the respondents who did not change their destination, nearly half chose to divert from their current route, whereas the other half stayed on the current route. Despite its current sample bias, the interactive Internet survey has proven to be a successful tool for gathering data on travel decisions. It is inexpensive, easy to administer, and provides reliable responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering