Impacts of incentive-based intervention on peak period traffic: Experience from the Netherlands

Vivek Kumar, Chandra R. Bhat, Ram M. Pendyala, Daehyun You, Eran Ben-Elia, Dick Ettema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Incentive-based travel demand management strategies are gaining increasing attention because they are generally considered more acceptable by the traveling public and policy makers. This study presented a detailed analysis and modeling effort aimed at understanding how incentives affected traveler choices by using data collected from a reward-based experiment conducted in 2006 in the Netherlands. The incentive-based scheme analyzed in this study included monetary rewards or credit toward obtaining a smartphone with a view to motivating commuters to change their choice of departure time out of the peak period or to shift their mode of travel. The mixed panel multinomial logit modeling approach adopted in this study was able to isolate the impacts of incentives on behavioral choices while accounting for variations in such impacts across socioeconomic groups that might have been due to unobserved individual preferences and constraints. The model also shed light on the effects of behavioral inertia, in which individuals were prone to continue their past behavior even when it was no longer optimal. Finally, the study offered insights on the extent to which behavioral changes persisted after termination of the incentive period. In general, it was found that incentives were effective in changing behavior and overcame inertial effects; however, individuals largely reverted to their original behavior when the rewards were eliminated. This finding suggests that incentives need to be provided for a sustained period to bring about lasting change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-175
Number of pages10
JournalTransportation Research Record
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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