Soft Transport Policy Measures: Implementing Personalised Travel Planning.

Soft Transport Policy Measures: Implementing Personalised Travel Planning.


I Meloni, B Sanjust, E Spissu, University of Cagliari-CRiMM, IT TB01ii


The objective is to present methods and results obtained from a soft measure implementation in Cagliari (Italy) in 2012 for a sample of 109 participants. A new LRT is promoted by an activity-based personalization of information and motivation.


Negative impacts of private car use, such as environmental pollution and global warming, can be mitigated only by encouraging individuals to reduce their need for private car use. With this aim in view, new kinds of transport policy measures, so-called "soft measures", are being implemented mainly in Australia, UK and Japan. As opposed to "hard measures", which attempt to modify people's travel choices imposing taxes and fees (i.e. road pricing, parking fees etc.), soft measures encourage a balance between different modes of transport, improving community information and awareness about the negative effects produced by private car use.

Some existing soft measures, specifically aimed at fostering travel behaviour change among households and neighbourhoods (as opposed to school or work travel plans, for example), are usually referred to as Personalised Travel Planning (PTP) measures. The best known PTPs, such as Travelsmart (UK), Travel Feedback Programs (Japan), Individualised Marketing, Personal Journey Plans, and Travel Blending (Australia) differ mainly for (1) the level of policy personalisation (i.e. info related to alternative travel modes vs. activity-travel plans), and for (2) the type of suggestions (improving balance between travel modes vs. car use reduction only).

The aim of this work is to describe a PTP approach implemented in Cagliari (Italy) from May 2011 to January 2012 for a sample of 109 participants, which has several distinctive features compared to existing ones. In particular, the focus on activity-travel analysis is not only a means of involving households to gain an understanding of their activity-travel patterns (as for example in Travel Blending), but it is also an important tool for researchers for personalizing participants? intervention. The proposed PTP allows in fact higher levels of personalisation of the exchanges between mobility advisors and participants, and of the process for activity-travel plans creation. The context chosen for the PTP implementation is a corridor in which a light metro system, in service since 2008, is still underused by 75%. The PTP therefore is aimed at reducing car use while offering a real sustainable alternative.

The overall PTP involves: (1) a first promotional campaign for a preliminary survey of current metro users, (2) a preliminary survey of current metro users for the purpose of defining user profiles, (3) the selection of a homogeneous group of metro users whose characteristics could be used to identify current car users as prospective metro users (4) a second promotional campaign for recruiting prospective metro users, (5) a two-week program for promoting travel behaviour change, (6) evaluation of the PTP program, and finally (7) model construction and validation with before and after data.

This paper focuses on the methodology employed during the two-week program (point 5 from the previous list), and also reports initial results of travel behaviour change (point 6). Relative to the methodology used: the targets of the PTP are actual and prospective metro users; the motivational drivers gathered from the former are in fact an important key to stimulate behaviour change among prospective users. For two weeks all participants are invited to record their actual daily activity-travel patterns using an active logger, called Activity Locator, supervised by mobility advisors. The first week (before intervention) the activity-travel analysis enables to identify a wide range of available alternatives, in terms of modal shift and spatial and temporal dislocation of their activities. At the end of the first week, the prospective metro users receive, in a face to face meeting, their Personalised Travel Plan in a pamphlet containing personalised activity-travel tips and a comparison of costs and benefits of sustainable vs. unsustainable tours. During the second week the participants are invited to continue using the Activity Locator in order to experiment the proposed personalised plans and enable mobility advisors to monitor the ?post? strategy behaviour. At the end of the survey, in a final meeting participants discuss their experience providing detailed feedback.

Finally, initial PTP results are analysed comparing observed activity-travel patterns before and after the intervention (i.e. number and type of trips, distance travelled etc.). The efficacy of the PTP is then evaluated based on time and money saved, or on the increased quality of life (i.e. better balance between in-home, out- of-home activities and trips), when and if the suggested plans have been adopted. Initial results show that, high levels of personalisation, while creating and proposing personalised travel plans, are able to engage participants in more sustainable travel styles, without compromising individual daily needs and requirements.


Association for European Transport