During the last two years motorists in the Eindhoven and ‘s-Hertogenbosch regions could earn from €1.50 to €5 by avoiding the peak traffic. Some 2300 motorists participated in this trial. The trial was accompanied by a series of investigations, which showed that 52,6% of all peak traffic journeys had switched to peak traffic avoidance. Avoiding the peak during mornings turned out to be consistently more popular than during evenings.
Participants avoided the peak in various ways. Most motorists chose to avoid the peak by taking another route away from the city centre. This group managed to decrease the original amount of peak hour traffic by 22 percent. Motorists choosing to vary their travel times accounted for a 12 percent decrease of peak time journeys.
A relatively small group of people switched to cycling or public transport. Two percent of journeys that avoided peak traffic were achieved by motorists starting to cycle or use public transport.
The currently published report does not split travellers into cyclists and public transport users, although it does mention that avoiding the peak by cycling was especially attractive for people living close to their work. 80% of people who switched to cycling lived less than 15 kilometres (by car) from their work. Also, the commuter distance by car (the fastest route) can differ a lot from the (shortest) route by bike. The fastest route may be 20% to 50% longer than the shortest route. The average commuter distance by bike was about 8 kilometres: half an hour’s cycling. The same distance would take 5-10 minutes by car; so on average the cycling alternative takes 15-20 minutes longer than the same journey by car.
Moreover, the percentage of avoided peak traffic journeys by bike varied enormously, clearly in response to the seasons. During autumn and winter months cycling decreased by almost 20 percent.
Four months after the end of the experimental period (during which people were rewarded for avoiding peak traffic), participants were again observed to see how often they still avoided peak traffic. Contrary to expectations, participants continued to avoid 47 percent of peak traffic journeys compared to 53 percent during the experiment.