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Evaluation of voluntary travel behaviour change: Experiences from three continents


  • Brög, Werner
  • Erl, Erhard
  • Ker, Ian
  • Ryle, James
  • Wall, Rob


The past 20 years has seen a rapid growth across the world in the number, range and scale of voluntary travel behaviour change (VTBC) initiatives. These so-called 'soft' measures have challenged the assumption that modal shift is only possible through 'hard' system-based measures, or through regulation. Among the most high-profile VTBC initiatives is a household-based behaviour change technique known as Individualised Travel Marketing. This dialogue marketing approach was developed by Socialdata (under the brand name IndiMark®) in response to its own research suggesting that a lack of information and motivation, and incorrect perceptions of the alternatives to the car, were significant barriers to modal shift. IndiMark has been applied in more than 100 pilot and nearly 150 large-scale projects, targeting a total of more than three million people on three continents. A key factor in this widespread take up has been the consistent use of a detailed evaluation design, employing travel behaviour surveys before and after the IndiMark intervention, using Socialdata's KONTIV® survey method. This well-established design uses a self-administered, mail-back questionnaire, coupled with motivation by post and telephone to encourage high response rates (typically between 60% and 80%) helping to provide reliable data on mobility behaviour. This paper reviews the development of the IndiMark technique and the key features of its evaluation using the KONTIV® survey method. It draws on this experience to address key challenges in the evaluation of VTBC initiatives, and to identify the common threads of an integrated approach which might strengthen the case for all soft measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Brög, Werner & Erl, Erhard & Ker, Ian & Ryle, James & Wall, Rob, 2009. "Evaluation of voluntary travel behaviour change: Experiences from three continents," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 281-292, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:16:y:2009:i:6:p:281-292

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steg, Linda, 2005. "Car use: lust and must. Instrumental, symbolic and affective motives for car use," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 147-162.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bamberg, Sebastian & Fujii, Satoshi & Friman, Margareta & Gärling, Tommy, 2011. "Behaviour theory and soft transport policy measures," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 228-235, January.
    2. Tørnblad, Silje H. & Kallbekken, Steffen & Korneliussen, Kristine & Mideksa, Torben K., 2014. "Using mobility management to reduce private car use: Results from a natural field experiment in Norway," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 9-15.
    3. Grischkat, Sylvie & Hunecke, Marcel & Böhler, Susanne & Haustein, Sonja, 2014. "Potential for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the use of mobility services," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 295-303.
    4. De Gruyter, Chris & Rose, Geoffrey & Currie, Graham, 2015. "Enhancing the impact of travel plans for new residential developments: Insights from implementation theory," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 24-35.
    5. Chinh Ho & Corinne Mulley & Chi-Hong Tsai & Stephen Ison & Sue Wiblin, 2017. "Area-wide travel plans—targeting strategies for greater participation in green travel initiatives: a case study of Rouse Hill Town Centre, NSW Australia," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 325-352, March.
    6. Margareta Friman & Lina Larhult & Tommy Gärling, 2013. "An analysis of soft transport policy measures implemented in Sweden to reduce private car use," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 109-129, January.
    7. repec:kap:transp:v:44:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11116-016-9698-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Eriksson, Lars & Friman, Margareta & Gärling, Tommy, 2013. "Perceived attributes of bus and car mediating satisfaction with the work commute," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 87-96.
    9. Cass, Noel & Faulconbridge, James, 2016. "Commuting practices: New insights into modal shift from theories of social practice," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-14.
    10. Shirmohammadli, Abdolmatin & Louen, Conny & Vallée, Dirk, 2016. "Exploring mobility equity in a society undergoing changes in travel behavior: A case study of Aachen, Germany," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 32-39.
    11. repec:kap:transp:v:44:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11116-016-9681-y is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Chowdhury, Subeh & Ceder, Avishai (Avi), 2016. "Users’ willingness to ride an integrated public-transport service: A literature review," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 183-195.


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