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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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