Heterogeneity in departure time preferences, flexibility and schedule constraints

Mikkel Thorhauge, Akshay Vij, Elisabetta Cherchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study develops a latent class choice model of departure time preferences for morning commute trips by car. The model is empirically evaluated using a sample of car commuters (mainly) in the Greater Copenhagen region in Denmark. The model identifies three classes that differ in terms of their preferences for departure times, their schedule constraints and degree of flexibility, and their socio-demographics characteristics. Roughly 30% of the sample exhibits high flexibility and is quite willing to reschedule in response to ‘peak spreading’ travel demand management strategies; 50% of the sample is constrained in the afternoon and evening, and consequently, less responsive to these strategies; and 20% of the sample is constrained in the morning and afternoons, and least likely to reschedule. We demonstrate the value of our model framework for policy analysis over simpler choice model frameworks that do not explicitly account for the existence of population segments with distinct preferences for departure time behaviour. In particular, we demonstrate how forecasts from our model may differ substantially from corresponding forecasts from more conventional choice models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1865-1893
Number of pages29
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Car commuters
  • Departure time
  • Flexibility
  • Latent class
  • Schedule constraints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation


Dive into the research topics of 'Heterogeneity in departure time preferences, flexibility and schedule constraints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this