The dynamic transportation experience starts with the user making a daily choice of how best to travel to work that day. Users can simply go--get in their car, hop on their bike, or head for the bus--or they can use a mobile app to decide the best way to go for that particular day based on time, cost, and other factors. For example, a user might discover that a nearby affiliate has offered a carpool ride, or that a volunteer bike buddy has organized a group ride.
The key point is that the users is making a choice about what works best for her on a given day. And that the ‘menu’ is easy to read and offers lots of choices. When we provide users choices we can then assign the appropriate cost or reward for each individual trip--rather than a one-size fits all pricing like forcing users to buy a monthly parking pass. When we converted to a system like this at Seattle Children’s, people were very keen on the idea that we were no longer going to charge them for parking when they were on vacation, or at a conference.
Carrots and sticks! Here is a time when our food and dining metaphor just kinda works. What a relief. Ideally your mobility menu will have an artful combination of carrots and sticks. Too much stick will make people unhappy. Just carrots and you might not get a lot of participation. Clearly just unshackling people from the burden of monthly parking will be very welcome. However, pairing the freedom of daily parking with a program of rewards and incentives tied to use of non-drive modes really kicks off a virtuous cycle. The rewards can be direct cash, prizes, digital vouchers (e.g. for coffee), or points that can be redeemed for rewards, or even virtual rewards like badges. The different types of incentives are not mutually exclusive and can be combined to achieve the best result.