Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - mode choice, place - urban, mode - car


Urban travel, Urban transportation policy, Urban areas, Travel behavior, Stated preferences, Policy making, Peak periods, New Zealand, Morning, Mode choice, Modal choice, Incentives, Disincentives, Commuters, Choice of transportation, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel


Governments often enact various policies to encourage car drivers to change their mode choice and thus alleviate traffic congestion. However, the full impact of these policies is not reached because policy makers do not understand the constraints affecting an individual's travel choices. This paper proposes that car drivers have constraints influencing their mode choice for the morning peak period trip. A stated preference experiment conducted in the three largest New Zealand urban areas not only quantifies the likely impact of a wide range of policy tools for each areas, but also identifies many significant constraints. Findings suggest that no single policy mechanism will address congestion issues across urban centers; therefore, government policy proposals should be developed in packages so that implementers can choose the tools appropriate to the constraints their car driving population faces. The policy tools investigated included both measures to improve public transport services or cycling facilities ("carrots"), and measures to discourage car use ("sticks"). The sticks were shown to have a greater influence on stated mode choice than carrots. Although the sticks show the greatest potential in addressing congestion issues, the study reveals a number of constraints that preempt drivers from choosing an alternative mode of travel to their work, including employment policies and practices, and the presence of children in the household.


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