Incentivizing Commuters to Carpool: A Large Field Experiment with Waze

37 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2019 Last revised: 7 Oct 2019

Date Written: September 23, 2019

Abstract

Traffic congestion is a serious global issue. A potential solution, which requires zero investment in infrastructure, is to convince solo car users to carpool. In this paper, we leverage the Waze Carpool service and run the largest ever digital field experiment to nudge commuters to carpool. We identify users who can save a significant commute time by carpooling through the use of an high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane, users who can still use an HOV lane but with a low time saving, and users who do not have access to a HOV lane on their commute. We then send in-app notifications to examine the tradeoff between mentioning the HOV lane, highlighting the time saving, emphasizing the monetary incentive, and showing a generic message. We find a strong relationship between the affinity to carpool and the potential time saving through an HOV lane. Specifically, we estimate that mentioning the HOV lane increases the click-through rate and conversion rate by 133--185% and 64--141%, respectively relative to sending a generic message.

Keywords: Carpooling, Field Experiment, Saving Commute Time via Hov, Time versus Money

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Maxime and Fiszer, Michael-David and Ratzon, Avia and Sasson, Roy, Incentivizing Commuters to Carpool: A Large Field Experiment with Waze (September 23, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3458330 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3458330

Maxime Cohen (Contact Author)

McGill University ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5
Canada

Michael-David Fiszer

Google/ Waze ( email )

Electra Tower 29th floor
Yigal Alon 98
Tel aviv, 6789141
Israel

Avia Ratzon

Google/ Waze ( email )

Electra Tower 29th floor
Yigal Alon 98
Tel aviv, 6789141
Israel

Roy Sasson

Google/ Waze ( email )

Electra Tower 29th floor
Yigal Alon 98
Tel aviv, 6789141
Israel

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