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Optimizing the implementation of policy measures through social acceptance segmentation


  • Cools, Mario
  • Brijs, Kris
  • Tormans, Hans
  • De Laender, Jessie
  • Wets, Geert


This paper proposes Q-methodology as a technique for the identification of more homogeneous subgroups or ‘segments’ within a rather heterogeneous overall population when it comes to social acceptance of demand-restricting policy measures. Identification of such segments would allow policy makers to better tailor their future actions and thereby increase the chance for a successful implementation of the measures they propose. A set of 33 persons, selected in function of age, gender and car ownership evaluated the acceptability of a total number of 42 demand-restricting policy measures. Special care was taken that the final set of statements covered the four classically distinguished demand-restricting strategies, i.e., improved transport options, incentives for the use of alternative transport modes, parking and land-use management, and institutional policy revision. In addition, a balance between both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ and ‘push’ and ‘pull’ measures was strived for. The results indicate that four different segments in terms of social acceptance of demand-restricting policy measures can be distinguished, i.e., travelers in favor of traffic calming, travelers against hard push measures, travelers in favor of demand restriction, and travelers against policy innovations. Besides the differences and similarities between these segments, the practical implications for policy makers are discussed, together with a series of specific recommendations and suggestions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Cools, Mario & Brijs, Kris & Tormans, Hans & De Laender, Jessie & Wets, Geert, 2012. "Optimizing the implementation of policy measures through social acceptance segmentation," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 80-87.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:22:y:2012:i:c:p:80-87 DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2012.05.013

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cools, Mario & Fabbro, Yannick & Bellemans, Tom, 2016. "Free public transport: A socio-cognitive analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 96-107.
    2. Sehatpour, Mohammad-Hadi & Kazemi, Aliyeh & Sehatpour, Hesam-eddin, 2017. "Evaluation of alternative fuels for light-duty vehicles in Iran using a multi-criteria approach," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 295-310.
    3. Jana, Arnab & Harata, Noboru, 2016. "Provisioning health care infrastructure in communities: Empirical evidences from West Bengal, India," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 37-46.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:686-:d:96881 is not listed on IDEAS


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