Travel Demand Management Targeting Reduced Private Car Use: Effectiveness, Public Acceptability and Political Feasibility

Tommy Gärling, Geertje Schuitema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

171 Citations (Scopus)


The private car is fast, comfortable, and convenient. However, worldwide massive car use causes serious environmental problems. Although breakthroughs in clean automobile technology may be under way, reducing car use seems necessary in order to achieve a sustainable transportation system. Several travel demand management (TDM) measures have therefore been proposed and some have been implemented with this aim. The article reviews research addressing the question of how effective, acceptable to the public, and politically feasible such measures are. The conclusion is that noncoercive TDM measures alone are unlikely to be effective in reducing car use. Therefore, coercive TDM measures such as increasing cost for or prohibiting car use may be necessary but are difficult to implement because of public opposition and political infeasibility. If combined with noncoercive TDM measures providing attractive travel alternatives and communicating the benefits of car-use reduction to the public, coercive TDM measures are likely to become more effective, acceptable, and politically feasible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-153
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number1
Early online date16 Feb 2007
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


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