Assessing Social Experiments Using Apps: The Case of Car-Free Days in Bogotá

34 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2018

See all articles by Jorge Bonilla

Jorge Bonilla

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Fernando Carriazo

Economics Department at Los Andes University

Date Written: October 23, 2018

Abstract

Nowadays, several Apps record real-time data from social networks that enrich users’ decision making. We argue that these data may also be used to better inform policy makers in the absence of monitoring data or as a complementary tool of measurement systems. This is the case of Waze, an App designed to facilitate access to information on real-time traffic conditions reported by users and based on navigation tools through Global Position System in smartphones. We collect traffic speeds reported by Waze and use air quality measurements from the Air Quality Network in Bogotá to assess the impact of car-free days, a social experiment in Bogotá, aimed at promoting the use of alternative transport modes rather than automobile travel, and temporally addressing congestion and air pollution. Our results suggest that car-free days improve traffic speed in 20% and local air quality, measured by particulate matter, in 2%, compared to classical working days.

Keywords: Apps, Waze, car speed, air pollution, car-free day, transport policy

JEL Classification: Q53, Q58, R41

Suggested Citation

Bonilla, Jorge and Carriazo, Fernando, Assessing Social Experiments Using Apps: The Case of Car-Free Days in Bogotá (October 23, 2018). Documento CEDE No. 2018-50. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3288799 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3288799

Jorge Bonilla (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

Carrera Primera # 18A-12
Bogota, DC D.C. 110311
Colombia

Fernando Carriazo

Economics Department at Los Andes University ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

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