When strike comes to town... anticipated and actual behavioural reactions to a one-day, pre-announced, complete rail strike in the Netherlands

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - stop, ridership - commuting, ridership - behaviour, mode - rail


Work stoppages, Trips, Travellers, Travelers, Travel behavior, Travel, Transportation alternatives, Strikes, Railways, Railroads, Netherlands, Journeys, Highway users, Behavior modification, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel


The authors conducted secondary analysis on data collected among rail users, days before and after a national rail strike in the Netherlands. The authors' aim was to compare anticipated and actual behavioural reactions to the rail strike, investigate associations with traveller and trip characteristics, and perceived behavioural control and satisfaction with the chosen alternative. Forty-four percent of the people who had anticipated to travel by train on the day of the strike abandoned their trip, 24% switched to car as driver, 14% switched to another mode (as passenger), 18% stayed with the train and rescheduled the planned activity to another day. Almost half of people who had anticipated travelling by car expected to change behaviour as well. Multinomial logistic regression showed low preference for car among rail users. Considerable marginal effects were found for several variables, e.g.: young people and females were less likely to switch to car; short and middle distance trips were less likely abandoned or switched to another day; commute and business trips were more likely done by car, and business trips less likely cancelled. Despite high levels of perceived behavioural control and satisfaction with the chosen alternative, permanent modal shift as result of this strike is not expected.


Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564