Context: a nudge to encourage ticket validation
It’s a gentle encouragement in the right direction. First theorised by the Nobel Prize-winning economist Richard Thaler, “nudge” has established itself as a major contribution, and a gentle method of guiding consumers towards more virtuous behaviour. Case in point? In 2022, the Besançon metropolis and Keolis Besançon experimented with this process for several months on the Ginko network. The aim was to encourage passengers to validate their tickets. The system displayed emoticons that depicted the number of passengers on board who had validated and the number of passengers who had not. This on-board visual nudge is based on an algorithm that cross-references the number of passengers boarding and alighting with the number of people who have validated their tickets. The aim of this 100% anonymous system is not to blame and shame, but to encourage validation by displaying congratulatory or encouraging messages depending on the rate of non-validation calculated by the algorithm.
Nudges as a way of understanding traveller behaviour
The work of co-constructing these nudges, carried out by the Innovation Department of Keolis, its Besançon subsidiary and Grand Besançon Métropole, has enabled a better understanding of passenger behaviour. The algorithm and the data collection process now make it possible to identify areas where fraud is significant and to engage the field teams in their work to keep raising passenger awareness through prevention and control initiatives.
This use case of how nudge can be applied to validation incentives is of interest to many KEOLIS networks. It is now easily possible to replicate this system thanks to the widespread use of vehicles equipped with counting cells.