Road Pricing as Impetus for Environment-Friendly Travel Behavior: Results from a Stated Adaptation Experiment

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - travel demand management, planning - travel demand management, planning - surveys, ridership - mode choice, ridership - demand, policy - environment, policy - congestion, economics - pricing, organisation - management, mode - carpool


Value pricing (Road pricing), Trip reduction, Trip length, Travel surveys, Travel distance, Travel demand management, Travel behavior, Transportation demand management, TDM measures, Stated preferences, Stated adaptation, Road pricing, Mode choice, Modal choice, Flanders (Belgium), Congestion pricing, Choice of transportation, Carpools


An important policy instrument for governments to modify travel behavior and manage the increasing travel demand is the introduction of a congestion pricing system. In this study, the influence of a detailed classification of activities is examined to assess likely traveler response to congestion pricing scenarios. Despite the fact that most studies do not differentiate between activity categories, the value of time and in general the space–time properties and constraints of different types of activities vary widely. For this reason, it is of importance to provide sufficient detail and sensitivity in assessing the impact of congestion pricing scenarios. In addition, a first assessment of travelers’ possible multifaceted adaptation patterns is presented. For these purposes, a stated adaptation study was conducted in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium. The experiment was conducted through an interactive stated adaptation survey. In the stated adaptation experiment, respondents could indicate their responses to the congestion pricing scenario. The most prevalent conclusion is that the activity type significantly predetermines the willingness to express a more environment-friendly behavior (i.e., reducing the number of trips, reducing the total distance traveled, switching to more environment-friendly modes). Also, the willingness to show ecological activity-travel behavior (e.g., carpooling and using public transport) in a nonpricing situation is a major differentiator of future behavior in a congestion pricing scenario.