International Choice Modelling Conference, International Choice Modelling Conference 2015

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Behavioral Change Monitoring; Experiment with Electric Bicycles
Nikoleta Krousouloudi

Last modified: 18 May 2015

Abstract


Behavioral Change Monitoring; Experiment with Electric Bicycles

 

Nikoleta Krousouloudi*1, Amalia Polydoropoulou*2 andAthena Tsirimpa*3

 

1, 2, 3 University of the Aegean, Greece.

(E-mail: nkrousoul@aegean.gr, polydor@aegean.gr)

 

Abstract

A longstanding literature in urban transport demand illustrates that rapid urbanization has led to an explosion of individual motorization in many European countries.

Even if car ownership rates are expected to be higher in the mainland of Greece, an island of 51,000 individuals, Chios, has the 3rd highest car ownership rate2nd motorcycle ownership rate in the country. It is estimated that there are approximately 2,500 new-entry and 1,000 vehicles are disposed on the island per year.

The population of the island remains almost the same for the last 2 decades, but there is a steady increase in the number of cars. Motorcycles are used mostly in Chios town and their use is popular especially among young people and teenagers, the majority of which tend to drive without having a driving license. However, there is a bicycle trend growing the recent years. Road surface condition is not the ideal for bicycle use, and there has not been any recent planning for bicycle lanes.

Traffic congestion and air pollution, especially during summer, noise pollution, sufficient parking spaces, small sidewalks and inefficient traffic safety measures are the main transportation problems in the city of Chios.

The exceptional case of Chios is the main incentive of the proposed research.

The challenges were the promotion of active transport, raise the environmental consciousness, the reduction of carbon emissions and to address the issues of air quality in urban areas.

The aim of this research is to investigate individuals' environmental consciousness, as well as their willingness to change their mode of transport in order to improve environmental quality. This becomes feasible through the investigation and the quantification of the following:

  • trips and activities of individuals,
  • factors affecting their travel behavior,
  • factors influencing modal choice,
  • their attitudes and perceptions regarding eco-driving and active transport (walking and cycling).

To conduct the experiment was necessary to investigate individuals' travel behavior in three phases (before, during and after the experiment) to measure travel behavior changes after the use of an electric bicycle sharing application. 

At first, there was a random sample among the individuals living in the city of Chios.

The survey took place from July to November 2013 and from March to June 2014.

The respondents were asked to change their travel behavior temporarily by using an electric bicycle for 5 days, complete a 5-day Travel & Activity diary and record their routes using a GPS device. The results in this paper are based on the number of trips made.

The trial run is comprised of three phases. In the pre-test phase, there was an investigation (using questionnaires) regarding the interviewees' trips, activities, mode choice behavior, route choice, attitudes and perceptions towards motorized modes and active transport. Their travel happiness was measured before and after using the electric bike.

For the main test phase, they had to complete a 5-day Travel & Activity diary.

In the post-treatment phase they filled in the same questionnaires as in the pre-treatment phase, with a few additional questions related to their experience with the electric bikes, the distance traveled, their current travel mode and the willingness to change their transport patterns to eco-friendlier ones in the long term.

Finally, with the return of the electric bike and the end of the experiment the individuals had to complete one last questionnaire which concerned the satisfaction felt in the week of the electric bike use.

Two follow up surveys conducted, the first 4 and the second 2 months later, in order to collect data on the travel behavior and happiness of the individuals, at the time.

This survey regards to the development of a model that estimates the potential behavioral change of users towards active transport including the use of electric bicycles. Is expected to be an important decision making tool for policy makers/local authorities, transport operators of the urban mobility sector and urban users, which will be applicable and transferable to various countries and urban areas.

 

 

 

Key words: behavioral change, travel behavior, electric bicycles


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