The transportation system is undergoing three revolutions: vehicle automation, electrification, and shared mobility. While these are still nascent trends, studies suggest that they could become ubiquitous in the coming decades. How these revolutionary changes transpire will have significant implications for transportation sustainability. A key factor will be whether autonomous vehicles are deployed as shared cars that serve many travelers such as in ridesourcing or ridehailing fleets, or as privately owned vehicles that could dramatically increase vehicle miles traveled and associated environmental impacts. To anticipate how these revolutions will affect future transportation, and to develop policy to shape that future, it is important to understand the various factors that influence individuals’ travel choices. These choices include whether to travel alone or with others, and whether to use a private vehicle or a shared one. Some of these factors are monetary, such as the cost of fuel, insurance, and a driver, while others are non-monetary, such as the travel time, comfort, and reliability of each transportation option. The significance of these non-monetary factors is poorly understood and often ignored.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis developed a framework for considering the monetary and non-monetary costs of future travel choices and used existing research to develop interim values for several non-monetary travel choice factors. This policy brief summarizes the findings from that research and provides policy implications.