Spitsmijden (the Dutch term for peak traffic avoidance) was initiated at the end of 2005 by a group of companies, government agencies and universities with the aim of developing an innovative instrument that could help improve traffic flow on the roads. A better flow of traffic will help making the Netherlands safer and cleaner. The instrument basically aims to achieve a voluntary change in behaviour, stimulated by rewards.
The first evidence-based Spitsmijden trial was completed in the spring of 2007. This experiment on the A12 between Zoetermeer and The Hague showed that financial incentives actually work: the 340 participants reduced their morning peak period journeys by a half. The conditions at home and at work – for example through employers allowing more flexible working hours – are important for people to be able to avoid the peak period.
Spitsmijden is an innovative and promising concept. In November 2007, the Minister of Transport decided to encourage more trials involving elements of the Spitsmijden concept, as part of the programme Different Payment for Mobility (Anders Betalen voor Mobiliteit). Spitsmijden 2 investigated the following questions:
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