Free 'Test Rides' Win Transit Riders

The "Test Rides" program in Sweden is showing success in getting people to drive less and take transit more.

1 minute read

October 22, 2019, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

"If you live in Gothenburg, Sweden, a city in the southwest of the country with a population of about 570,000, and drive to work or school, the regional transit agency wants to give you a two-week free pass to use on buses, ferries, and trams," reports Adele Peters.

The city says the program to deter driving is working. "Since 2010, the agency, called Västtrafik, has launched nearly 30 of the 'test ride' campaigns in western Sweden," explains Peters. "In an ad campaign this fall [shown above], the Sweden-based creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors assembled 30,000 toy cars to help residents visualize the impact of the campaign—which offered 30,000 free passes—on local traffic."

More insight into the program's success is available in the source article. Planetizen blogger Todd Litman visited Gothenburg in 2015, and wrote about the city's early adoption of congestion pricing as tool for incentivizing alternative modes of transportation.

Friday, October 18, 2019 in Fast Company

Red on white 'Room for Rent, Inquire Inside' sign

In Most U.S. Cities, Archaic Laws Limit Roommate Living

Critics argue laws preventing unrelated adults from living in the same home fail to understand the modern American household.

May 24, 2023 - The Atlantic

Vancouver Chuck Wolfe

Ten Signs of a Resurgent Downtown

In GeekWire, Chuck Wolfe continues his exploration of a holistic and practical approach to post-pandemic urban center recovery, anchored in local context and community-driven initiatives that promote livability, safety, and sustainability.

May 24, 2023 - GeekWire

New York MTA subway station

Off-Peak is the New On-Peak

Public transit systems in major U.S. cities are starting to focus on non-rush hour travelers as pre-pandemic commuting patterns shift and transportation needs change.

May 19, 2023 - Curbed

View of cars stuck in gridlocked traffic with traffic lights in background

Research Indicates the Large Potential Benefits of Parking Cash-Out Laws

‘Free’ employee increases driving. Parking cash-out laws reward commuters who use climate-friendly modes, which increases fairness and reduces traffic problems.

1 hour ago - An Assessment of the Expected Impacts of City-Level Parking Cash-Out and Commuter Benefits Ordinances

Close-up photo of Megan Kimble against blurry green background with title "A journalist's take on planning"

Through the Eyes of a Journalist: Megan Kimble Reflects on Covering Food Systems, Zoning Changes, and Highway Projects in the Southwest

Kimble’s interest in topics related to urban planning spawned from research and writing about food systems in the borderlands of Arizona. She then moved to Austin in the midst of the city’s update of its Land Development Code.

3 hours ago - The Planning Commission Podcast

Nighttime view of Tacoma, Washington skyline

Tacoma Coalition Calls for ‘Tenants’ Bill of Rights’

The group wants to put more power in the hands of tenants, but the city has its own, competing proposal for addressing the housing crisis.

May 26 - The Urbanist

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.