Fare evaders are a problem faced by public transit systems in cities across the world. Evaders are willing to break the law and risk a significant penalty for the free ride. In Toronto, fare evasion is estimated to cost around $20 million a year in lost revenue.
An event at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management on September 30 brought together students and members of the community interested in behavioural economics to develop concepts to reduce fare evasion. The “Nudge-a-thon” was hosted by the Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR) Centre and BEworks, a management consulting firm specializing in behavioural economics. In the event teams had to work together to develop a behavioural solution to fare evasion and the outline of an experiment that could be used to test that solution.
The winning team was “Nudge Judy” which proposed to reduce transit fare evasion by installing mirrors above payment machines to cue self-concept of riders, and to pair this with a messaging campaign that focused on identity and positive attributes. Winning the $5000 first prize were Rotman School students Mohsin Bin Latheef, MBA’18; Jane Poon, MBA’18; Natalie Eckler, MBA’18; and Anjeli Kruytbosch, BCom’18, along with Katie Chen, a student in the HBA program at the Ivey School of Business.
BEworks is the first management consulting firm dedicated to the practice of applying behavioral science to strategy, marketing, operations, and policy challenges. Its mission is to help leaders apply scientific thinking to their organization’s challenges.
BEAR is a centre at the Rotman School that combines decades of research in decision-making with empirically tested tools to facilitate behavioural change. The Centre looks at social and economic problems from a behavioural science lens and designs solutions that go beyond the traditional approaches of applying incentives, penalties or provisioning information.
The Rotman School of Management is located in the heart of Canada’s commercial and cultural capital and is part of the University of Toronto, one of the world’s top 20 research universities. The Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables our graduates to tackle today’s global business and societal challenges. For more information, visit www.rotman.utoronto.ca.