Thursday, July 22, 2010

Changing the Car Culture Down Under

Changing the Car Culture Down Under - Australia Entices Commuters Off the Roads One Household at a Time With Educational Marketing Push, Elaborate Bike-Ped Infrastructure highlights how the personalized approach to influencing travel behavior is making a significant impact in Australia.

This article serves as a reminder that while it is easy to become infatuated with the latest technological solutions to congestion, it is the one-on-one assistance that continues to demonstrate its effectiveness in changing travel behavior. It really isn't a new lesson. For example, Personalized Approach for Ridesharing Projects: Experience of Share-A-Ride in Silver Spring showed that coaching commuters was a very effective means of changing behavior.

These travel behavior changes are more than just moving drive alone commuters to carpools but include approaches for adjusting time of travel (e.g., discounts on the shoulder of the peak in Ft. Myers) or routes - even without mode shift. For example, FHWA Congestion Pricing - A Primer reports that "In Ft. Myers, Florida, a 50 percent discount on the toll was offered on the Midpoint and Cape Coral bridges for a short period of time before and after the rush hours. Survey data revealed that, among those eligible for the discount, there was an increase in traffic of as much as 20 percent during the discount period before the morning rush hours, with corresponding drops in the rush hour itself."

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