Dutch Rewarding Drivers to Drive Off-peak

Is it possible that we don't need so many new roads as we think? Likely. Is it possible to manage congestion without tolling every road? Possibly not, but there is a way to put it off until “the next administration”, while still addressing congestion. So think the Dutch—those masters of nationwide road tolling ideas.

This article from a Dutch Newspaper was translated by Google, then edited for readability.
The original is here.

Could even be our city, eh?
With rewards, 3,000 fewer cars during Utrecht rush-hour
2012 04 12 
Since the start of the project Spits Free in the triangle Utrecht - Amersfoort - Hilversum driving during peak hours about 3,000 cars fewer are using the road in that area. Participants will receive a reward if they avoid morning or evening peak.
The deputy with responsibility for this is Remco van Lunteren from Utrecht. The project is now six months in the Utrecht region and according to van Lunteren, it is a success. In four weeks, participants drive 1.5 million fewer miles during rush hour, says the province.
In the region, 60,000 people drive daily during peak hours. The project involves about 5,400 motorists. There is a waiting list to participate.
The county calculates that spitsmijders ‘earn’ an average of about 30 euros per month to drive at other times. Participants especially avoid the rush hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. 
The province of Utrecht recently calculated the socio-economic impact of the project. It is noted that a few less cars on busy roads during rush hour already provide for the resolution of a file (the congestion file? ed.). In some places, the road is never silent, says the province. Spits runs freely until the end of this year.
While most governments may not be willing to hand out cash for drivers to use roads at different times (and I don’t think they should), there are many other direct, economic ways to reward such behavior, outlined in numerous other blogs, here. The point is that drivers respond to economic incentives, by shifting travel time (or mode). And there are many cash-equivalent economic incentives that are cost neutral to the taxpayer.

We should start looking at them.

No comments: