Changing commuters' behavior using rewards: A study of rush-hour avoidance

Eran Ben-Elia, Dick Ettema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a 13-week field study conducted in The Netherlands, participants were provided with daily rewards - monetary and in-kind, in order to encourage them to avoid driving during the morning rush-hour. Participants could earn a reward (money or credits to keep a Smartphone handset), by driving to work earlier or later, by switching to another mode or by teleworking. The collected data, complemented with pre and post measurement surveys, were analyzed using longitudinal techniques and mixed logistic regression. The results assert that the reward is the main extrinsic motivation for discouraging rush-hour driving. The monetary reward exhibits diminishing sensitivity, whereas the Smartphone has endowment qualities. Although the reward influences the motivation to avoid the rush-hour, the choice how to change behavior is influenced by additional factors including education, scheduling, habitual behavior, attitudes, and travel information availability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-368
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Behavior change
  • Congestion
  • Habitual behavior
  • Information
  • Motivation
  • Reward

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Changing commuters' behavior using rewards: A study of rush-hour avoidance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this