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Rewarding rush-hour avoidance: A study of commuters' travel behavior

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  • Ben-Elia, Eran
  • Ettema, Dick

Abstract

Spitsmijden, peak avoidance in Dutch, is the largest systematic effort to date to study, in the field, the potential of rewards as a policy mean for changing commuter behavior. A 13Â week field study was organized in The Netherlands with the purpose of longitudinally investigating the impacts of rewards on commuter behavior. Different levels and types of rewards were applied and behavior was tracked with state-of-the art detection equipment. Based on the collected data, which included also pre and post-test measurements, a mixed discrete choice model was estimated. The results suggest that rewards can be effective tools in changing commuting behavior. Specifically rewards reduce the shares of rush-hour driving, shift driving to off-peak times and increase the shares of public transport, cycling and working from home. Mediating factors include socio-demographic characteristics, scheduling constraints and work time flexibility, habitual behavior, attitudes to commuting alternatives, the availability of travel information and even the weather. The success of this study has encouraged adoption of rewards, as additional policy tools, to alleviate congestion, especially during temporary road closures.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben-Elia, Eran & Ettema, Dick, 2011. "Rewarding rush-hour avoidance: A study of commuters' travel behavior," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 567-582, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:7:p:567-582
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Zheng & Fujii, Hidemichi & Managi, Shunsuke, 2014. "How does Commuting Behavior Change Due to Incentives? An Empirical Study of the Beijing Subway System," MPRA Paper 54691, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Chen, Linxi & Yang, Hai, 2012. "Managing congestion and emissions in road networks with tolls and rebates," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 933-948.
    3. Zhang, Yun & Stopher, Peter & Halling, Belinda, 2013. "Evaluation of south-Australia's TravelSmart project: Changes in community's attitudes to travel," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 15-22.
    4. repec:kap:transp:v:45:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11116-017-9844-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Knockaert, Jasper & Tseng, Yin-Yen & Verhoef, Erik T. & Rouwendal, Jan, 2012. "The Spitsmijden experiment: A reward to battle congestion," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 260-272.
    6. Lindsey, Robin & Daniel, Terry & Gisches, Eyran & Rapoport, Amnon, 2014. "Pre-trip information and route-choice decisions with stochastic travel conditions: Theory," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 187-207.
    7. Ettema, Dick & Gärling, Tommy & Olsson, Lars E. & Friman, Margareta & Moerdijk, Sjef, 2013. "The road to happiness: Measuring Dutch car drivers’ satisfaction with travel," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 171-178.
    8. Clauss, Thomas & Döppe, Sebastian, 2016. "Why do urban travelers select multimodal travel options: A repertory grid analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 93-116.
    9. Ben-Elia, Eran & Alexander, Bayarma & Hubers, Christa & Ettema, Dick, 2014. "Activity fragmentation, ICT and travel: An exploratory Path Analysis of spatiotemporal interrelationships," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 56-74.
    10. Xu, Meng & Grant-Muller, Susan, 2016. "Trip mode and travel pattern impacts of a Tradable Credits Scheme: A case study of Beijing," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 72-83.
    11. Fan, Wenbo & Jiang, Xinguo & Erdogan, Sevgi & Sun, Yanshuo, 2016. "Modeling and evaluating FAIR highway performance and policy options," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 156-168.
    12. Tillema, Taede & Ben-Elia, Eran & Ettema, Dick & van Delden, Janet, 2013. "Charging versus rewarding: A comparison of road-pricing and rewarding peak avoidance in the Netherlands," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 4-14.

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