Smart Congestion Pricing: Testing Travel Incentives to Reduce Congestion in Bangalore
Last registered on March 09, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Smart Congestion Pricing: Testing Travel Incentives to Reduce Congestion in Bangalore
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002083
Initial registration date
March 09, 2017
Last updated
March 09, 2017 3:33 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2017-02-06
End date
2017-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Cities in developing countries increasingly face severe and apparently intractable traffic congestion. Congestion charges that discourage driving at peak hours and in congested areas are theoretically appealing. However, we know very little about how they work in practice. This experiment tests the impact of time-based (peak-hour) and area-based congestion charges on travel behavior, for a sample of car and motorcycle drivers in Bangalore. GPS enabled smartphones are used to collect travel behavior data, to communicate with respondents, and to implement the congestion charges.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Kreindler, Gabriel. 2017. "Smart Congestion Pricing: Testing Travel Incentives to Reduce Congestion in Bangalore." AEA RCT Registry. March 09. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2083-1.0.
Former Citation
Kreindler, Gabriel. 2017. "Smart Congestion Pricing: Testing Travel Incentives to Reduce Congestion in Bangalore." AEA RCT Registry. March 09. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2083/history/14827.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2017-03-13
Intervention End Date
2017-09-08
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We study urban travel behavior using private modes of transportation. The main outcomes are trip departure time and trip duration. We will also look at the extensive margin of travel, as well as route choice.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Commuters who regularly drive a car or a motorcycle are recruited in Bangalore, and invited to install a smartphone app that collects travel information using GPS. After a period of baseline data collection, they are randomized into the intervention. The main treatment participants receive time-based congestion charge type incentives (deducted from an initial grant); there is also an information group who receives similar information about traffic congestion patterns and regular updates about their travel behavior, but no incentives. There is also a control group that receives neither. A second type of treatment is an area congestion charge, and this is cross-randomized with the main treatment.
Experimental Design Details
Commuters who regularly drive a car or a motorcycle are recruited in gas stations Bangalore, and invited to install a smartphone app that collects travel information using GPS. After a period of two weeks of baseline data collection, they are randomized into the intervention, which lasts 4-5 weeks. The main treatment participants receive time-based congestion charge type incentives (deducted from an initial grant) for a period of three weeks; there is also an information group who receives similar information about traffic congestion patterns and regular updates about their travel behavior, but no incentives. There is also a control group that receives neither. A second type of treatment is an area congestion charge, and this is cross-randomized with the main treatment. The congestion charge arm of the main treatment contains low and high incentives sub-treatments, as well as low and high initial grant sub-treatments. The area congestion charge contains: low and high incentives, short and long induced detour, and early and late implementation sub-treatments.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual study participant.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
600 commuters
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 commuters
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Peak-Hour Congestion Charge: 240
Information: 180
Control: 180
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Institute for Finanacial Management Research (IFMR)
IRB Approval Date
2016-02-20
IRB Approval Number
IRB00007107; FWA00014616; IORG0005894
IRB Name
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects (COUHES)
IRB Approval Date
2016-12-07
IRB Approval Number
1511312369A002
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers