Carrots versus sticks: Rewarding commuters for avoiding the rush-hour—a study of willingness to participate

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - pricing, operations - traffic, organisation - management, policy - congestion


congestion, incentives, motivations, ordered logit, participation, pricing, rewards, traffic management


This paper deals with the potential participation in a reward scheme to avoid peak hour driving. Using rewards in the context of congestion is novel compared to the attention received by road pricing. Psychological research emphasizes the importance of incentives such as rewards in promoting long term behavior changes. In the Netherlands, reward schemes have been tested as part of the ‘Spitsmijden’ project. This study analyses participation based on a survey of non-participants. Ordered Logit (OL) and mixed ordered logit discrete choice models were specified. The results show that participation is linked to working time flexibility, constraints in the household and the workplace and especially to personal motivations. These results provide critical insights in the formulation of a more coherent and flexible policy on transportation demand management and the development of a more robust tool kit for the inducement of large-scale behavioral changes.


Permission to publish the abstract given by Elsevier. Copyright remains with Elsevier.


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