Metropia Platform Created an

Award Structure that is Associated with

Users Sustaining Desired Behaviors


Shared mobility

Analysis of Travel Choices and Scenarios for Sharing Rides

Encouraging Carpooling Using App-Based Incentive Tools

Dr. Vassilis Papayannoulis is one of the authors of the recently published FHWA’s Analysis of Travel Choices and Scenarios for Sharing Rides study. As part of the study, Metropia analyzed user data from 2016-2017 acquired via Metropia’s social carpool feature.  

One aspect of the analysis framework focused on carpooling utilization trends among users who were divided into groups that exhibited an increasing trend, decreasing trend, or no trend in utilization, providing the following observations:

•    Increased carpool use over time, among more than 50 percent of the users for whom a trend was identified.
•    Carpool use was higher for the decreasing trend initially, potentially indicating that some users who are only interested in the reward points jump on the opportunity, but their interest diminishes as the points decrease.
•    Carpooling had a slower start among users with an increasing trend, potentially indicating that it takes some time for the users to fully appreciate carpooling as a mobility option. As they become more comfortable, their carpool use increases.
•    Growth of the increasing trend becomes flat after 9 months, potentially indicating that carpool has reached an equilibrium state for users.


A second aspect of the analysis focused on a time-series analysis to better understand how incentive changes over time affect the carpool use trend (i.e., can carpool behavior be sustained if incentives are reduced over time?). This important aspect of the overall policy framework is directly related to the ability of the public agency to support a desired change in travel behavior in a cost-effective manner. It is also tied to the underlying principle of using incentives to break an old habit and support a new habit that can be maintained over time with an affordable cost structure. During the analysis period, reward points were reduced over time by 14.5% for carpool drivers and 3.3% for passengers. Despite declining rewards, user carpooling levels tended to stay the same or increase, suggesting that the Metropia™ platform created an award structure that is associated with users sustaining desired behaviors.

For more information on FHWA’s Analysis of Travel Choices and Scenarios for Sharing Rides study and other ongoing projects please contact Dr. Vassilis Papayannoulis at