Moving with the Times: Financial Incentives for Sustainable Travel – Part 2


The costs of using different types of transport, and how these costs can be spread, are a significant factor influencing individuals’ decisions about how to travel. In the first part of the report, we demonstrated how financial incentives can be an effective lever to encourage modal shift.

We made some recommendations to boost the effectiveness of financial incentives and recommended some practical policy changes. In this part, we explore how financial incentives and their effects vary for Londoners depending on where they live, what kinds of trips they take and other characteristics that might influence the costs they face.

To illustrate how financial incentives influence travel costs, we created nine typical individuals and families (more detail in appendix 2) and modelled their travel costs (more detail in appendix 1). We then produced 12 policy papers illustrating the effects of different policies on these Londoners’ travel costs. They are not intended to be full policy proposals, but only examples of how different types of policies influence the costs people face. These papers helped us understand who would stand to win or lose if new policies were to be introduced and how policymakers can level the playing field regarding travel costs to encourage active and sustainable modes of transport.

In these papers, we have analysed the costs of using specific modes of transport such as bicycle, car or public transport (including both buses and trains) to compare the total cost of using each mode across different scenarios. However, as we said in the first part of the report, facilitating multi-modal travel is key to providing the alternatives needed to encourage people to shift away from private vehicles.


The report does not cover travel for work, so none of the individuals included in the model are currently driving for a living. We think this would require a different model covering the various ways that individuals and businesses pay for work travel, and we are keen to explore this in future work.

Furthermore, the model shows the travel cost for a specific journey, so it does not show how travel costs vary depending on the frequency of the trips people take (e.g. using a shared mode of transport is cheaper for occasional trips than for frequent ones).