Transport option values can be interpreted in terms of a risk premium that individuals with uncertain demand are willing to pay over and above their expected user benefit for the continued availability of a transport facility. These values represent a benefit category not included in conventional transport appraisal.
This paper describes a methodology for measuring the option value of public transport services, and its application to two regional railway links in the Netherlands. From an Internet-based survey examining the value of regional rail services to residents, option values were concluded to be a potentially relevant benefit category in public transport policy appraisal. This survey included three different stated choice experiments to separate the willingness-to-pay for use, option use and non-use. Significant option values could be obtained from the stated choice experiments for both regional railway links.