Opportunities and Threats
NECTAR Series on Transportation and Communications Networks Research
Edited by Nikolas Thomopoulos, Mosche Givoni and Piet Rietveld
Chapter 4: The use of ICT to provide incentives to change habitual travel patterns
This chapter evaluates the ‘Step2Get’ scheme where incentives were issued to encourage students at Ricards Lodge School in Wimbledon (London, United Kingdom), to walk to school instead of taking the bus. Walks were recorded through ICT swipe cards that were issued to student participants who were incentivized to walk to school regularly by the offer of concrete rewards. Analysis of data from the regional transport authority, Transport for London, shows that student participants’ demand for buses decreased, which reduced overcrowding at the bus stop and thus improved bus dwell time. A further analysis shows that ‘Step2Get’ participants who received incentives to walk increased significantly the modal split for walking and developed more positive attitudes about walking even after the incentives had stopped. The results suggest that a temporary implementation of an ICT behaviour change scheme such as ‘Step2Get’ can have a lasting impact on travel habits. The chapter thus ends with the recommendation that this or related types of ICT schemes should be considered in the transport policy portfolio of travel demand management schemes. Schemes such as ‘Step2Get’ form a tool where the right ICT technology and incentives are combined to change travel behaviour towards more sustainable modes of transport or less congested modes of transport.
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