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Happy Travels? Policy Insights from Commuting Research in Dublin

Effectively managing transportation behaviour and services holds significant implications for climate change, air quality, health, and overall societal well-being and economy. Reducing emissions from the transport sector is a particularly challenging goal in Ireland’s climate policy. While the government aspires to promote active and mass transit modes, implementing stringent transport policies, such as taxes and bans, faces multiple hurdles.

In response, the behavioural sciences advocate for softer, psychologically-informed strategies known as “Nudges” within the broader framework of “Behavioural Public Policy.” These approaches focus on making desired behaviors, like walking and cycling, more convenient and enjoyable. When an activity is pleasant and effortless, it fosters habits, positively shapes attitudes, and influences mode choices in transportation.

Understanding commuters’ experiences is crucial for designing appealing and sustainable transport services while encouraging alternative travel modes. This policy brief draws insights from a commuter survey encompassing over 4,000 commutes to University College Dublin, a major commuting destination in Ireland. The findings hold relevance for transport policies aimed at reducing car usage and promoting walking and cycling cultures. The brief also provides recommendations for future research in this domain.

For more information, see: Happy Travels – Travel Satisfaction Brief – EnvEcon 2020

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