Promoting Sustainable Transportation


Encouraging Alternative Transportation Behavior among Baby Boomers

Funding: New England University Transportation Center &  University of Rhode Island Transportation Center  

PIs: Tat S. Fu (PI), David Gress, Rosemary Caron

Duration: 2011-2013

Abstract                                                                                                                                   

Due to disruptions prompted by changing demographic patterns, aging infrastructure, and a growing ‘green’ culture New England states have been at the forefront of searching for options to encourage sustainable transportation alternatives. However, this quest has not translated in substantive behavior change.  Mitigation of the environmental impact of automobile traffic can be facilitated through a number of technological, economic, and regulatory factors.   But in order to achieve widespread adoption of alternatives, changes in individual knowledge, attitude, and behavior are essential. This proposal addresses the NEUTC theme: The strategic management of disruptive change in transportation systems.   It is designed to apply the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM) to baby boomer populations to improve transportation choices and help the environment. Given the tremendous success of TTM in other areas of behavior change this team is in a unique position to develop an innovative project, which can serve as a model for sustainable transportation for campuses and communities nationwide. The work presented here reflects the findings of a multi-year, multi-site interdisciplinary project designed to promote alternative/sustainable transportation (AT or ST) and to encourage mode shift from single occupancy vehicle commuting to transit, carpooling, walking or biking.  This project is led by a team of experts in Civil Engineering, Communications and Psychology and supported by NEUTC, the University of Rhode Island (URI) Transportation Center, and the Sustainability Office at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). The project goal is to lay the groundwork towards developing effective interventions to promote transportation behavior change, especially for those who are currently not ready for such a change. This study of students, faculty and staff at two public universities in the Northeast was designed to develop and test the methodology of applying the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM), to transportation behavior.  This behavior change model has been highly successful in the area of health promotion.  In the current project it is combined with geospatial modeling to maximize impact on students and older university commuters.

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Fu, T., Mundorf, N., Redding, C., Paiva, A., and Prochaska, J., 2012. “Promoting Behavior Change among Campus Commuters.” Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Transportation Research Forum, Tampa, FL, March, 2012.

Mundorf, N., Redding, C.R., Paiva, A., Horiuchi, S., Prochaska, J.O., Fu, T., Brick, L., 2012. “Promoting Alternative Transportation Behaviors: Development and Validation of Stage of Change, Decisional Balance, and Self-Efficacy,”  Proceedings of the Eastern Communication Association Annual Convention, Cambridge, MA, April, 2012.

Mundorf, N., Redding, C. Paiva, A., Brick, L., Prochaska, J.O., Fu, T., 2013.   “Promoting Sustainable Transportation across Campus Communities using the Transtheoretical Model of Change.“ Paper to be presented at Conference for Communication and the Environment, Uppsala, Sweden, June 2013.