This behavioural project is coordinated by the EU Policy Lab – DG Joint Research Centre, European Commission
People many times are doing things only for social reasons… they can easily become social-drinkers, social-smokers, why not social-bikers? Researchers from the EU Policy Lab discovered that social incentives are more efficient than individual incentives, meaning that people are performing better when they feel that their behaviour (in this case, biking) affects also other people. Moreover, this projects aims to motivate European citizens to be more physically active and use environmentally sustainable forms of transport, while developing relationships with other peers.
The Social Biking project (S-b) is based on a tracking app for bikers – the BikePrints, already available in Google Play and Apple app stores – which allows users to form interactive groups and track their rides to collectively earn points and prizes. A biker can receive points if he/she bikes on the same path with other bikers. The objective is to use social based incentives to motivate participants to exercise more with their friends or partners. A detailed experimental design has been developed, based on behavioural economics methodologies, which will allow the JRC researchers to measure the behavioural change achieved by the different incentives.
The project has already been piloted in 24 different European cities during the ‘Social Biking Challenge 2018’. The Social Biking Challenge aims to encourage cycling as a social habit, by creating a network of cyclists at local level and offering prizes for the best social bikers who bike together with their friends. The project relies a lot on the local coordinators (e.g. municipalities, sports associations, NGOs, etc.), who are promoting and organising their “own” Social Biking Challenge within their cities. To learn more about the next S-b Challenge and how to participate, please check the blogs bellow.