Changing Commuter Travel Behavior: Employer-Initiated Strategies

Journal of Environmental Systems 01/1995; DOI: 10.2190/L2NP-8AQM-FJRG-GRPV


Commuter travel has certain features that make it potentially more responsive to interventions than other types of travel. However, from the perspective of the employer attempting to implement a trip reduction program, it is often difficult to determine what type of intervention (or combination of interventions) would be most effective. This article reviews the literature on strategies for changing commuter behavior, with a focus on techniques that an employer might use (i.e., rather than a focus on physical or regulatory barriers to non-conserving behavior). Behavior change strategies are organized into three categories: informational approaches, positive motivational approaches, and coercive approaches. In general, research in commuter behavior change
has focused on the application of external, tangible motivation (e.g., financial incentives or disincentives) to the exclusion of self-initiated, less tangible factors (e.g., commitment and self-monitoring techniques). The implications of this bias are discussed along with suggestions for future research.

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Available from: Raymond K De Young, Dec 31, 2013
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    • "Anyhow, holding models were calibrated in order to compare their goodness-of-fit and their generalisation capability compared to switching solutions. If the holding approach within the random utility paradigm is the most used in transportation mode choice issues (Domencich and McFadden, 1975; Ben-Akiva and Lerman, 1985; Cascetta, 2009; Ortuzar and Willumsen, 2011), transportation behavioural modifications can count on a smaller number of contributions (Ben-Akiva and Morikawa, 1990; Cairns et al., 2008; Fujii and Taniguchi, 2006; Garling and Fujii, 2009; Kearney and De Young, 1996) and have been mainly focussed on transport mode choice, on route choice or on departure time choice. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, the effects of a inter-urban carsharing program on users’ mode choice behaviour were investigated and modelled through specification, calibration and validation of different modelling approaches founded on the behavioural paradigm of the random utility theory. To this end, switching models conditional on the usually chosen transport mode, unconditional switching models and holding models were investigated and compared. The aim was threefold: (i) to analyse the feasibility of a inter-urban carsharing program; (ii) to investigate the main determinants of the choice behaviour; (iii) to compare different approaches (switching vs. holding; conditional vs. unconditional); (iv) to investigate different modelling solutions within the random utility framework (homoscedastic, heteroscedastic and cross-correlated closed-form solutions). The set of models was calibrated on a stated preferences survey carried out on users commuting within the metropolitan area of Salerno, in particular with regard to the home-to-work trips from /to Salerno (the capital city of the Salerno province) to/from the three main municipalities belonging to the metropolitan area of Salerno. All of the involved municipalities significantly interact each other, the average trip length is about 30 Km a day and all are served by public transport. The proposed carsharing program was a one-way service, working alongside public transport, with the possibility of sharing the same car among different users, with free and/or dedicated parking slots and free access to the existent restricted traffic areas. Results indicated that the inter-urban carsharing service may be a substitute of the car transport mode, but also it could be a complementary alternative to the transit system in those time periods in which the service is not guaranteed or efficient. Estimation results highlighted that the conditional switching approach is the most effective one, whereas travel monetary cost, access time to carsharing parking slots, gender, age, trip frequency, car availability and the type of trip (home-based) were the most significant attributes. Elasticity results showed that access time to the parking slots predominantly influences choice probability for bus and carpool users; change in carsharing travel costs mainly affects carpool users; change in travel costs of the usually chosen transport mode mainly affects car and carpool users.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Transportation Research Part A Policy and Practice
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    • "Automobile use is the source of many current woes, including air pollution (Kearney and De Young 1996), greenhouse gas emissions (Walsh 1993), loss of life and property (Evans 2004), and, of course, traffic congestion (Schrank and Lomax 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Carsharing involves the communal ownership and use of a fleet of vehicles, typically on an hourly basis (Millard-Ball et al. 2005). Austin CarShare (ACS) was launched in the fall of 2006, making Austin the first city in Texas with carsharing services. While many studies have discussed the positive impacts of carsharing, few have examined widespread public opinion of carsharing. This study undertook the challenge of investigating traveler preferences during ACS's service launch, in order to anticipate latent demand for such services. The survey provides rich information on public opinion of different aspects of the ACS program, as well as the expected demand on the service and possible changes in travel patterns. Supplementing the survey results with spatial data, membership models of two pricing plans reveal that households with higher vehicle ownership and income-to-adults ratios are less likely to join the program, while level of education exhibits a convex relationship with the probability of joining the Freedom Plan, ceteris paribus. Although potential carsharing users share similar characteristics, the two plans serve slightly different customer sets and have the potential to supplement one another.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · International Journal of Sustainable Transportation
    • "Bamberg, Ajzen, andfound that the theory of planned behavior adequately modeled modal split changes that were observed in the context of an intervention to promote public transport use by providing students with free bus passes. On the basis of a review of 29 intervention studies, Kearney and DeYoung (1996)concluded that providing material incentives and personalized information can be effective in changing car use frequency. On the other hand, Ogilvie, Egan, Hamilton, and Petticrew (2004) reviewed 22 studies aimed at shifting mode from car to walking and cycling, and concluded that although there is some evidence that targeted behavior change programs can change motivated subgroups, publicity campaigns, engineering measures, and other interventions generally have not been very effective (see alsoOgilvie et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: The habit discontinuity hypothesis states that when a context change disrupts individuals’ habits, a window opens in which behavior is more likely to be deliberately considered. The self-activation hypothesis states that when values incorporated in the self-concept are activated, these are more likely to guide behavior. Combining these two hypotheses, it was predicted that context change enhances the likelihood that important values are considered and guide behavior. This prediction was tested in the domain of travel mode choices among university employees who had recently moved versus had not recently moved residence. As was anticipated, participants who had recently moved and were environmentally concerned used the car less frequently for commuting to work. This was found not only when compared to those who were low on environmental concern (which would be a trivial finding), but also to those who were environmentally concerned but had not recently moved. The effects were controlled for a range of background variables. The results support the notion that context change can activate important values that guide the process of negotiating sustainable behaviors.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Journal of Environmental Psychology
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