Implementation of soft policy measures to change private car use in urban areas

Panel: Panel 5 Transport

Tommy Gärling, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden and Karlstad University, Sweden,
Sebastian Bamberg, University of Giessen, Germany,
Margareta Friman, Karlstad University, Sweden,
Satoshi Fujii, Kyoto University, Japan Jochen Richter, Dresden Technical University, Germany


Motorised travel is in several respects a future threat to the human environment. Transport policy measures to reduce car use are therefore on the political agenda. Hard transport policy measures include physical improvements of public transport infrastructure, increased costs for car use, or control of road space. These measures are difficult to implement because of public opposition and political infeasibility. Interest has therefore increased in soft transport policy measures aimed at influencing car users by means of information and persuasion. Large-scale implementations target large numbers of households and are usually part of broader programs to encourage environmentally friendly behaviour. It has been shown that car use decreases and public transport use increases. A challenge is to understand why soft transport policy measures are effective. A self-regulation theory of car use change is presented as an explanation of the demonstrated effectiveness of different intervention types focusing on goal setting, planning, and evaluation of negative feed back.


Download this paper as pdf: Paper