A copula-based joint multinomial discrete-continuous model of vehicle type choice and miles of travel

Erika Spissu, Abdul Rawoof Pinjari, Ram Pendyala, Chandra R. Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations


In this paper, a joint model of vehicle type choice and utilization is formulated and estimated on a data set of vehicles drawn from the 2000 San Francisco Bay Area Travel Survey. The joint discrete-continuous model system formulated in this study explicitly accounts for common unobserved factors that may affect the choice and utilization of a certain vehicle type (i.e., self-selection effects). A new copula-based methodology is adopted to facilitate model estimation without imposing restrictive distribution assumptions on the dependency structures between the errors in the discrete and continuous choice components. The copula-based methodology is found to provide statistically superior goodness-of-fit when compared with previous estimation approaches for joint discrete-continuous model systems. The model system, when applied to simulate the impacts of a doubling in fuel price, shows that individuals are more likely to shift vehicle type choices than vehicle usage patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-422
Number of pages20
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 21 2009



  • Copula-based approach
  • Discrete-continuous choice modeling
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Transportation energy consumption
  • Travel behavior
  • Vehicle miles of travel
  • Vehicle type choice
  • Vehicle usage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation

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