Charging versus rewarding: A comparison of road-pricing and rewarding peak avoidance in the Netherlands

Taede Tillema, Eran Ben-Elia, Dick Ettema, Janet van Delden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The aim of this paper is to compare two congestion management schemes - road-pricing and peak avoidance rewarding - and their impact on commuter behaviour, based on two studies that were conducted in the Netherlands. The road-pricing study is based on stated preference data, whereas the study involving rewards was conducted in the context of a longitudinal field experiment. Given the substantial differences in data sources and analytical techniques applied beforehand, the comparison is made at an indicative level. It can be cautiously concluded that, as psychological theory predicts, rewarding is more effective in diverting commuters from peak periods. In both cases, the most popular alternative to peak-driving is off-peak driving. Most of the change in behaviour is attributed to introducing the new measure, whereas the impact of different price/reward levels is marginally decreasing in sensitivity and effectiveness. The short-term and long-term policy implications of these findings on the implementation of both measures are further discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalTransport Policy
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Behaviour-change
  • Commuting
  • Congestion
  • Peak avoidance
  • Rewards
  • Road-pricing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Law


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