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A preliminary conclusion of Spitsmijden is that rewards, whether monetary or in the form of a Yeti, lead to substantial decreases in number of car trips during rush hours. Both variants result in halving the total number of car trips.
One important observation is that a relatively low reward (€ 3) results to be the most significant effect for avoiding traffic. The additional value of higher rewards is relatively slight.
The participants who had chosen the Yeti variant also drove considerably less during peak traffic periods: 43% of them were observed to drive daily, and only 15% of them gained the reward.
Half of participants had little trouble in avoiding to drive during peak traffic periods. Those who did find it difficult claimed that it was due to obligations at home or work. Many participants had made agreements with their employers about their work times or for asking to work at home, and at home they had made agreements regarding household chores and scheduling.
The majority of participants resumed their old behaviour patterns after the conclusion of the experiment.
The reduction of traffic trips was largely realized by delaying or advancing departure times, as well as by a slight increase in the use of public transport. The majority of people who adjusted their behaviour chose to apply the best single option based on their personal circumstances (instead of a combination of options). More than half of participants found it relatively or very easy to adjust their behaviour. However, many specific individual circumstances can influence behavioural adjustment, and it is important to gain more understanding of them.
When a reward is offered for avoiding rush-hours traffic, two new traffic peaks arise: just before and just after the given rush-hours.
The models used should be further elaborated in order to define optimal rewarding schemes and amounts. Given the experimental phase in which the model application finds itself, it is not yet possible to deliver precise judgements regarding the extent of gains during travelling time.
The results achieved during the experiment, i.e. halving the number of rush-hours trips, will probably be impossible to realise during a large-scale version of the experiment with an identical set-up.
Before transferring Spitsmijden to another region, it should be noted that a too high reward and/or too many participants may lead to net losses in travel time. If these elements are set at the right level, however, significant gains in travelling time can be achieved along with a positive effect on traffic circulation. The concept and the technology proved to work quite well.
In November 2008 the organisation started a new pilot ‘Spitsmijden’ which will run until December 2009. The difference between the two pilots is a longer route and the use of cameras and partly of GPS technology (some of the participants will receive a Rabo Mobile). The EVI-technique is currently not part of the pilot. They may approach participants during the pilot to participate in additional investigations, for which a different technique, such as EVI, will be used. Of course, the participation in an additional investigation will be entirely on a voluntary basis.
Another difference is that incentives are setup to promote the use of the train as an alternative way of mobility. To make the shift to train mode as easy as possible, NS-Business Cards will be offered via internet and a trip could be booked by phone.
The research questions for this pilot project are:
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