Inderscience Publishers

Can gasoline be saved by financial incentives and training of bus drivers? 'Egged Ltd.' bus company in Israel as a case study

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Gasoline consumption can be reduced if drivers are motivated to save gasoline and are familiar with driving practices that help to minimise gasoline consumption. To verify this assumption, four groups of drivers (20 bus drivers each) were randomly chosen for this study from two operational branches of the 'Egged Ltd.' mass transit company in Israel. In a 2 × 2 factorial design, one group of drivers received financial incentive equal to 30% for each litre of gasoline saved, while another group underwent one week of professional training on gasoline–saving techniques, a third group received both treatments and the fourth group did not receive any of these treatments and hence served as a control group. During the first 20 days of the experiment, carried out in November–December, 2008, per kilometre fuel consumption was recorded for each driver, as a personal baseline of gasoline consumption. During the final phase of the experiment, lasting another 20 days after one–week training, personal gasoline consumption was again measured and compared to the baseline. While drivers who did not receive either professional training or financial compensation (the control group) did not show a significant change in their gasoline consumption (Δ = 1.1%; p > 0.2), drivers who received both professional training and financial reward showed an average reduction in gasoline consumption by some 7.3% (p < 0.001). Drivers who received only professional training reduced their per kilometre gasoline consumption by an average of 5.4% (p < 0.01). Concurrently, the drivers who received only financial reward reduced their gasoline consumption by an average of 5.0%, relative to their baseline performance (p < 0.001). Only the differences between the test groups and control group were found to be significant (p = 0.05). Both professional training and financial compensation appear to be equally effective in encouraging gasoline saving. The combination of both tools yielded similar results, suggesting that these strategies reached their ceiling of possible improvement in gasoline consumption.

Keywords: gasoline consumption, petrol consumption, professional training, financial incentives, case–control experiment, driving behaviour, bus drivers, buses, mass transit, Israel, saving fuel, fuel consumption, financial compensation

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