Original Research

Motivations and barriers to using high-speed rail: An application of conjoint analysis – Insights from Vietnam

Pham T.K. Ngoc, An M. Ngoc
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 16 | a705 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v16i0.705 | © 2022 Pham T.K. Ngoc, An M. Ngoc | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 November 2021 | Published: 15 July 2022

About the author(s)

Pham T.K. Ngoc, School of Economics and Management, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Hanoi, Viet Nam
An M. Ngoc, School of Systems Engineering, Kochi University of Technology, Kami, Japan; and, Section of Transport Planning and Management, Faculty of Transport Economics, University of Transport and Communications, Hanoi, Japan


Background: Nowadays, a gradual change in customers’ attitudes towards transport service makes it more challenging to understand the reasons behind customers’ travel decisions. High-speed rail (HSR) has been mentioned recently and is expected as the best and most modern transport option in long-distance trips in Vietnam. However, research studies have paid scant regard to how HSR’s attributes may affect potential users, and therefore the motivations and barriers to adopting HSR are still unknown.

Objectives: This study aimed at examining motivations and barriers to take-up HSR for considering customers’ preference on the proper attributes and levels of HSR.

Method: This study drew on a nationwide survey and conjoint analysis to investigate customers’ behaviour.

Results: In Vietnam’s context, HSR ticket was found to be the principal barrier to adoption, whereas the speed of HSR was identified as the least important behavioural driver amongst potential HSR users. The results show that HSR design and planning should provide a combination of minimum check-in and waiting time, a 20-min frequency, average speed of 250 km/h, all add-on services and facilities, ticketing of approximately VND 500–700 thousand per 300–500 km and nearby all-day parking.

Conclusion: This investigation has demonstrated the value of conjoint analysis to compare a wide range of attributes associated with consumers’ decision to use HSR. The findings indicate that in countries such as Vietnam, in particular, where train usage is low, policymakers and transportation agencies seeking to boost the use of HSR must take attributes other than fare into consideration.


High-speed rail; attributes; levels; conjoint analysis; ticket fare; check-in and waiting time


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