- Host: Sean Williams (LinkedIn)
- Organisation: SGS Economics and Planning
- Session: 5
- Location: Supper Room
Can apply ideas from behavioural science to transport policy. UK nudge unit promoted many behavioural tools that government can use to influence what people do. Tools include: making the desired behaviour easier, framing social norms, making interventions at major life events, disrupting habitual behaviours, using competition to motivate change, gamification and commitments. The off-peak public transport lottery in Singapore is an example of gamification to incentivise travel behaviour change. Another example is Chromaroma promoting active travel in the UK.
There is scope to test ideas (from behavioural science) to see what works. Principles of persuasion mentioned (PhD study by Rita Seethaler). Is it ethical to manipulate people’s behaviour? Government and employers shape behaviour anyway e.g. transport infrastructure, car parking. Timing is important – can intervene at times that people are deliberating, we can inform and engage when people are moving home or job. Informing the market can change what the market does – examples from the London Olympics, World Cup and LA road project where forecasting congestion led to commuters changing trip time or mode so the outcome was better than predicted.
How durable are these interventions? Can we form new habits? Provide people with experience of travel alternatives. Events like Ride2Work Day or encouraging people to try an alternative one day a week can be a starting point. Important to understand motivations and evaluate interventions. People’s choices are often not rational. Anxiety is an important emotion for the travelling public, e.g. waiting time for bus, train or plane. Can address with timely information, uber does this well with real time map. Frequent services also overcome anxiety.
Thanks to David Wake for his notes