Media Releases

“Nudge-a-thon” at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management Tackles Public Transit Fare Evasion

October 4, 2017

Toron­to, ON – 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


For more infor­ma­tion:

Ken McGuf­fin
Man­ag­er, Media Rela­tions
Rot­man School of Man­age­ment
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Tel: 416–946-3818