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Dr. Astrid De Witte: The Impact of ‘Free’ Transport on Travel Behaviour


The main objective of this PhD is to investigate the impact of ‘free’ transport on travel behaviour. The last two decades, several types of ‘free’ transport have entered our mobility landscape. Although one might expect that the increased availability of ‘free’ transport modes has an impact on our daily travel behaviour, this research topic did not gain a lot of attention. Therefore, the aim of this PhD research is to analyze the impact of ‘free’ transport on travel behaviour in order to formulate relevant policy recommendations. To this end, four quantitative researches were executed: two regarding the impact of ‘free’ public transport and two with a focus on the issue of company cars. The results indicate that ‘free’ transport has indeed an important impact on travel behaviour. From a policy perspective this means that policy makers need to take these ‘free’ forms of transport into account when taking measures to stimulate more sustainable travel behaviour. In order for these measures not to miss their target, the use and the approach of these ‘free’ transport modes should be adjusted to the specific objectives policy makers want to achieve and customized to the specific profiles they want to affect within certain population groups.

Promotor: Prof. Dr. Cathy Macharis