Stated Preference survey on transport modes, routes and departure times

In addition to the Mobility and Transport Microcensus (MTMC) the ARE conducts a stated preference (SP) survey to gather data on people’s choices with regard to mode of transport, route and, starting from 2021, departure/arrival time. The data gathered in this way is used to arrive at a better understanding of these choices. It is also needed as a basis for transport modelling.

How does an SP survey work?

Respondents are presented with situations involving several options and modified characteristics. Respondents choose one of the options on the basis of these characteristics.

Example of a decision situation in a SP survey on mode choice.

The following aspects can be evaluated on the basis of SP surveys:

  • Preferences for options that do not (yet) exist, such as a new, faster route;
  • preferences for transport characteristics that vary little in reality, such as the travel costs of different routes to the same destination, or characteristics that are highly correlated, such as the travel costs and travel time of a route.

To ensure that the situations are as realistic as possible, the situations are based on the respondents’ actual travel behaviour which is obtained beforehand (known as Revealed Preference data, or RP for short, based on the MRMT). For the analysis, the statistical models combine the SP data with the RP data. In this way, the actual behaviour, as revealed by the MRMT, has been taken into account in the modelling as well.

Main indicators

Based on these models, two important indicators in transport analyses can be obtained:

  • The value of travel time (VTT): The price people are willing to pay to save an hour of travel time. The higher this value, the more unpleasant the travel time is perceived;
  • Elasticities: Percentage change in demand for a transport mode for a one per cent change in travel time or cost. The higher this value, the stronger the reaction of traffic volumes to such a change.

These values depend on various factors, such as income, the purpose of the journey (e.g. working or leisure) and the distance travelled.


Enquête sur les choix relatifs aux comportements de mobilité 2021 (PDF, 8 MB, 12.07.2022)This report describes the stated preference survey used in 2021. In French; Summary in English.

Analyse der SP-Befragung 2015 zur Verkehrsmodus- und Routenwahl (PDF, 5 MB, 01.09.2017)This report describes several mode and route choice models estimated using the data of the stated preference survey 2015. Research developments are presented and evaluated for their use in transport modelling. In German; Summary in French and Italian.

SP-Befragung 2015 zum Verkehrsverhalten (PDF, 3 MB, 01.09.2016)This report describes the stated preference survey used in 2015. In German ; Summary in French and Italian.

Stated Preference-Befragung (SP-Befragung) 2010 zum Verkehrsverhalten im Personenverkehr (PDF, 4 MB, 08.05.2012)This report describes the stated preference survey used in 2010. In German ; Summary in French and Italian.

Übersicht zu Stated Preference-Studien in der Schweiz und Abschätzung von Gesamtelastizitäten (PDF, 981 kB, 25.04.2012)This report compares the data gathered in the 2010 stated preference survey with that of earlier studies. It makes recommendations on the general elasticities of demand that are to be used to forecast energy usage up to 2050. In German; Abstract in French.


Federal Office for Spatial Development ARE

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