n Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering = Joernaal van die Suid-Afrikaanse Instituut van Siviele Ingenieurswese - Applicability of stated preference for mode choice studies among less-literate commuters : technical paper

Volume 44, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1021-2019



There is concern that research methodologies used in developed countries might not always be transferable to developing countries. This concern is prompted by conditions such as multi-culturalism, multi-lingualism, gender issues and literacy levels. Modal choice information can be collected using stated preference or stated choice questionnaires. <p>The hypotheses for the study were the following:<ul> <li>The level of literacy affects the quality of the responses. <li>The quality of response is affected by the complexity of the choice to be made. <li>The quality of responses is affected by the method of presentation. <li>The quality of response declines with the fatigue of the respondents.</ul> <p>The data for the study were collected using a questionnaire whereby respondents were required to select between either two or three alternatives described by either three or five attributes. The 364 respondents who took part in the study were recruited at modal transfer facilities in Mamelodi. In-depth interviews were also conducted with 26 of these respondents at their homes. <p>As a result of the study, the following can be deduced: <ul> <li>Stated preference data can be collected from less-literate respondents provided that the choice tasks are not complex. <li>A high degree of care needs to be taken in training interviewers and during the interviews to ensure that respondents interpret the profiles as hypothetical and do not use their experiential values for the attributes, really apply their minds when making choices / giving responses, and do not provide responses which they consider to be necessary to be polite or appear intelligent. <li>The possibility that the mode choice might be made using non-compensatory rather than compensatory decision rules needs to be investigated further. <li>The qualitative approach to the analysis appears to provide conclusions that are not always consistent with the statistical analysis approach. The reasons for these discrepancies need to be researched further. <li>The usefulness of in-depth interviews to provide a confidence to quantitative and complex surveys in developing countries needs to be investigated further.

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