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Assessing and Developing Initiatives of Companies to control and reduce Commuter Traffic (ADICCT)

Research project SD/TM/02A (Research action SD)

Persons :

  • Dhr.  WITLOX Frank - Universiteit Gent (UGent)
    Coordinator of the project
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2007-15/4/2009
  • Prof. dr.  JOURQUIN Bart - Faculté Universitaire Catholique de Mons (FUCAM)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2007-15/4/2009
  • Mevr.  VERHETSEL Ann - Universiteit Antwerpen (UA)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2007-15/4/2009
  • Mme  THOMAS Isabelle - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/1/2007-15/4/2009

Description :


Existing research on commuter traffic and behaviour primarily departs from a behavioural analysis of the individual commuter. In this mobility debate one player is often not fully considered: i.e. the voice and views of the companies and businesses that oddly enough could be considered as the most ‘to blame’ actor for why people commute. Therefore an assessment of the spatial and economic consequences and the effectiveness of the multitude of initiatives that companies have taken or going to take to control and reduce commuter traffic is the main objective of this research proposal. The research approach may be considered innovative for Belgium because of its specific business approach.

Project description


The objective of this project is to improve public and private decision-making and guide investments in employer-based commuter transport schemes (also called mobility management plans) using a case study analysis and a large scale business questionnaire that will aim at determining what characteristics (company and/or worksite related) make commuter choice programs successful in reducing (and/or controlling) commuter car traffic. This degree of “successfulness” is expressed in terms of savings in travel time and travel distance, potential in inducing modal shift, contribution to a fair division of costs, and employer and employee acceptance, and will be assessed using a spatial and economic model. Hence, the project’s results contribute to a policy aimed at inducing sustainable mobility.


In the research approach four major parts can be distinguished.

Literature review:
Drawing on the existing, relevant literature the following (not limited) broad categories of initiatives will be analysed:
(1) use of alternative work hours (compressed workweeks, flexible work schedules, teleworking and telecommuting)
(2) use and improvement of alternative travel options (ridesharing, shuttle bus, car/bus pooling, bicycling, walking and other non-motorized travel)
(3) financial and time incentives (preferential parking for ridesharers, subsidies for transit riders, transportation allowances, effects of company cars, etc.)
(4) spatial changes (office relocation schemes, changes in physical site characteristics)
(5) new developments (e-working, internet).

Data collection:
We will conduct a series of qualitative surveys with mobility managers in large firms and public administrations in Flanders, the Walloon and the Brussels region, and if feasible and available, also include existing case studies from outside Belgium.
Using the findings from the case studies a large case scale business questionnaire will be developed, tested and conducted. The purpose of this questionnaire is to collect more detailed and widespread information regarding what companies have implemented through their mobility management plan, and to obtain so-called actor and context-related data.

Data analysis:
Depending on the employer-based commuter transport characteristics a confrontation or matching of the company characteristics with the site and infrastructural characteristics can be made. To this end two models will be developed: a spatial model focussing on the geographical aspects and an economic model focussing on the cost aspects. Use will be made of (multi-level) regression analysis, structural equation modelling and Excel spreadsheets.

Formulating policy recommendations:
It is the aim of this proposal to calculate in monetary terms what the effectiveness of different measures is depending on the actor and the context. Hence, the implications of proposed policy recommendations can be made explicit in terms of generated car commuter flow reduction and associated economic cost-benefit.

Interaction between the partners

The different work packages (WP) are well designed, so that each co-contractor clearly knows what to do. An overview of the various work packages is given below, with the partners involved.

WP 0: Coordination – UGent
WP 1: Literature review - all four teams
WP 2: Data collection
WP 2.1: Case studies
WP 2.1.1: Flemish case studies – UGent & UA
WP 2.1.2: Walloon case studies – UCL & FUCaM
WP 2.1.3: Brussels case studies – all four teams
WP 2.1.4: International case studies – all four teams
WP 2.2: Large scale questionnaire
WP 2.2.1: Conceptualisation and testing – all four teams
WP 2.2.2: Flemish questionnaires – UGent & UA
WP 2.2.3: Walloon questionnaires – UCL & FUCaM
WP 2.2.4: Brussels case studies – all four teams
WP 3: Data analysis
WP 3.1: Spatial model (multilevel regression) – UCL & UA
WP 3.2: Economic model (structural equation model) – UGent & FUCaM
WP 3.3: Simulations – all four teams
WP 4: Evaluation of policy recommendations – all four teams

Expected results

The expected results will be disseminated at different levels: the scientific community and the professional actors in the field of travel behaviour analysis. At the scientific level, the results of the project will be submitted to different international conferences and/or journals. At the professional level, we expect that our results will be helpful in the world of transport professionals.



Frank Witlox holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning (Eindhoven University of Technology), a Master’s Degree in Applied Economics and a Master’s Degree in Maritime Sciences (both University of Antwerp). Currently, he is Associate Professor of Economic Geography at the Department of Geography of the Ghent University.

Ann Verhetsel is Professor of Economic Geography and Regional Economics at the University of Antwerp. She has a Ph.D. in Geography and an academic training in Town and Country Planning.

Bart Jourquin. The Group Transport & Mobility (GTM) of the FUCaM is an inter-departmental entity focusing on research in the field of transport economics. The main research orientations are: cost-benefit and multicriteria analysis of transport infrastructure, analysis of the relative importance and monetary value of the qualitative attributes of transport and the modeling of goods multimodal transport networks.

Isabelle Thomas holds a Ph.D. in geography (1984-UCL) as well as a “thèse d’agrégation” (2000-UCL). She is Research Director at the NFSR as well as professor at the UCL. She belongs to the Department of Geography as well as to the CORE.

Contact information


Frank Witlox
Universiteit Gent (UGent)
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25
B-9000 Gent
Tel: +32 (0)9 264 45 53
Fax: +32 (0)9 264 49 85


Bart Jourquin
Facultés Universitaires Catholiques de Mons (FUCaM)
Chaussée de Binche 151a
B-7000 Mons
Tel: +32 (0)65 32 32 93
Fax: +32 (0)65 31 56 91

Isabelle Thomas
Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
Place Louis Pasteur 3
B-1348 Louvain-La-Neuve
Tel: +32 (0)10 47 21 36
Fax: +32 (0)10 47 28 77

Ann Verhetsel
Universiteit Antwerpen (UA)
Prinsstraat 13
B-2000 Antwerpen
Tel: +32 (0)3 220 42 21
Fax: +32 (0)3 220 43 95

Follow-Up Committee

Philippe Barette - Ministère de la Région Bruxelles-Capitale
Wilfried Goossens - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Michèle Pans - Centrale Raad voor het Bedrijfsleven
Marc Roman - SPF Mobilité et Transports
Samuël Saelens - Union Wallonne des Entreprises
Marianne Squilbin - Institut Bruxellois pour la Gestion de l'Environnement (IBGE)
Mieke Suykerbuyk - Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Hans Tindemans - Mobiliteitsraad van Vlaanderen
Kathy Van Aperen - Provincie Antwerpen

Documentation :

Assessing and Developing Initiatives of Companies to control and reduce Commuter Traffic (phase 1) : final report    Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2009 (SP1952)
[To download]  [To order

Evaluatie en ontwikkeling van bedrijfsinitiatieven inzake de controle en vermindering van woon-werkverplaatsingen : samenvatting    Brussel : Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, 2009 (SP1953)
[To download

Initiatives en matière de déplacements domicile travail dans les entreprises: analyse et développements possibles : résumé    Bruxelles : Politique Scientifique fédérale, 2009 (SP2001)
[To download

Assessing and Developing Initiatives of Companies to control and reduce Commuter Traffic : summary    Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2009 (SP2002)
[To download

Assessing and Developing Initiatives of Companies to control and reduce Commuter Traffic + Annexes : final report    Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2011 (SP2387)
[To download

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