Behaviour change – methodology wars

Nothing like a good fight between models, is there? Well, not really. Everybody is being super-polite, as described in this article here. But underlying the politeness there is an important point: how much effort is it worth putting in to trying to persuade people to change their behaviour? I like the advocates of behaviour change more, but I’m sceptical about the long term benefits. I see how hard it is to change behaviour, and how it’s even harder to sustain those benefits; in the absence of consistent labour-intensive nudging behaviour tends to slip back to the norm and the habitual. And it’s funny how it transfers the onus on to those least able to have an impact, and takes responsibility away from industry and government, who have so much more influence.

Social networking and travel behaviour

A study into whether social networks can help change travel behaviour. A bit underwhelming really…interviews with two developers, a focus group, and an online survey with 141 users. And inconclusive results: “…They seem likely to increase awareness of the impact of travel behaviours and of more sustainable alternatives. This may not lead to a direct change in travel behaviours, but it potentially impacts on attitudes and values that could change travel behaviours in the longer term.”

Curiously, this paper appears to suggest that people with more members in their social network travel more.

Social driver behaviour platform from Telefonica and Masternaut

We’ve written before about social driver behaviour apps – Nissan Carwings is one obvious example. It’s nice to see a big telco pushing one,though – as described here. Telefonica have partnered with Masternaut, a telematics supplier, to offer a a product which stretches  from fleet management (which Telefonica has adopted in its own vehicles) to individual driver monitoring and ‘game’ features, like fuel saving league tables.

And while we are on the subject of Telefonica, it deserves an honorable mention for its participation in the BeyWatch building management project too – nothing to do with transport, but a nice example of ICT helping carbon reduction.

Next Bus London – here at last!

Well, actually it’s been here for a while but I’ve just remembered to post about it. Still, it is absolutely marvellous. As a frequent bus traveller, I really appreciate it. It does for buses what the platform display does for the tube – lets you know when the next one is coming so that you can make decisions about what to do, and incidentally feel calmer about just how long you are waiting.

The best thing for me is that it isn’t just about the stop that you are at, but also offers nearby ones, so that you can make a sensible judgement about whether to take another route.