Captivity revisited

Gökmen Ergün, Peter R. Stopher, Hasan M. Al-Ahmadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Captivity to a choice is an aspect of the choice process that is not well understood in the transportation area. The current context of understanding of this phenomenon is superficial and covers only being physically constrained to a single choice. However, there are many related concepts and behavioral phenomena, as discussed in various other fields, such as brand or service loyalty, brand switching, resistance to change, and habit formation, that can contribute to the formation of some degree of captivity. Furthermore, a deeper under-standing of these phenomena is becoming important to the transportation industry because of high levels of competition. For instance, it has become important for airline companies to develop customer loyalty to survive in the industry, after the airline industry in the United States was deregulated in 1978. The main aim of this work, therefore, is to develop a broad framework for describing the fundamentals of captivity, i.e., what, how, and when the underlying processes bring about captivity, and to form a theoretical basis for it. After presenting a framework within which captivity can be described, a way of handling it through "stated choices" is tested by means of a modeling effort using intercity travel mode choice data from Saudi Arabia. The travel mode choice models calibrated for two trip purposes indicate the feasibility of this method. Finally, conclusions and the areas that need further research are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Transportation Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


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