What We Do

A transportation study using behavioral economics

Durham's Pilot Program

Durham’s Mayors Challenge Program works to reduce drive-alone trips to downtown.  Traffic and parking are becoming more challenging for our visitors, employers, and residents, and we don't want to just talk about it.  In our Pilot Program, we tested behavioral economic strategies that encouraged people to commute without a car. Our strategies focused on encouraging news modes and routes for downtown commuters and introducing health, money, and time benefits of not driving a car.  Fewer cars in downtown results in building fewer parking garages which will allow the City to use valuable resources toward shared economic prosperity, connected communities, and a sustainable environment.

This project was funded through Bloomberg Philanthropies Champion Cities Grant.  Durham applied for additional funding to continue this work in August 2018. Grant awards will be announced in October 2018.

Personalized Route: Planning for You

As pictured above, the team developed a planning tool that enabled us to create commute plans for downtown employees.  The plan, nicknamed the "Personalized Route," was sent to almost 1,000 people. Employees who received a Personalized Route reported commuting differently during the five week pilot.

The Bus Lottery:  Ride, Swipe & Win

The team also hosted a bus lottery and randomly enrolled some of our employees in the game as a test to see if winning cash would incentivize riding the bus to work.  Results of the study showed that employees who were enrolled in the bus lottery reported even higher rates of trying alternative modes of transportation.