May 23, 2014


Encouraging Sustainable Transportation Behavior: Alternatives to Driving, Alternatives to Parking


1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village


Research has shown that transportation choice is tied both to economic as well as social factors.  This dichotomy poses a challenge to planners as they attempt to move toward more sustainable forms of transportation (Deakin 2001; Ewing & Cervero 2001; Litman 2004). Some communities have a stick approach where items such as parking meters and policy to balance parking resources and deter auto ownership ((Guo 2013; Weinberger et al. 2008), however literature may indicate that these are not as effective as ‘carrots’ and may be economically inefficient (McShane & Meyer 1982).  Communities that have used a ‘carrot’ approach have had success using incentives such as free transit passes or cash back (‘cash-out’) programs to incentivize parking and transportation alternatives (Bianco 2000; Hirsch et al. 2000; Markoff 2012), yet more research is needed about we can shift individuals to sustainable transportation modes by using incentives – especially in the new realm of ‘mobile-everything’ (Parlak et al. 2012).  Very little is known about how effective financial verses tangible incentives are, and how they relate to social factors and marketing in terms of nudging individuals toward non-automotive modes like biking and walking (Carrel et al. 2012; Riggs & Kuo 2014; Akerlof 1997).  This presentation focuses on on-going research in the behavioral response of drivers / parkers to market and social incentives and the resulting environmental impacts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The primary goal is to advance knowledge about the behavioral response to different kinds of incentives and make policy suggestions for public agencies seeking to reduce both the driving and parking footprint of their commute base and improve the overall environmental sustainability in their communities.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. William (Billy) Riggs is Assistant Professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo focusing on quantitative community analysis and urban planning policies. His key research areas include Transportation, Housing, Economic Development, Sustainable Land Use, Environmental Planning and Technology and Governance.  He is particularly interested in bicycle and pedestrian issues and the role of mobile technology in behavior and governance, and actively seeks to achieve social equity and policy change in his work.

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