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Optimal urban transport pricing in the presence of congestion, economies of density and costly public funds

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  • Proost, Stef
  • Dender, Kurt Van

Abstract

Using a numerical model of the urban transportation sector, calibrated to data for Brussels and for London, we calculate the optimal transport price structure and its effect on the transport equilibrium and on welfare. Removing existing subsidies to transit and to parking, internalising transport externalities (mainly congestion) and optimising the frequency of transit service increases welfare by approximately 2%. Optimal prices are higher than current prices in most transport markets, so that optimal transport demand is below current demand. There is a strong shift to public transport in the peak period. Finally, calculations for Brussels of optimal public transport prices for unchanged reference car taxes indicate that only limited welfare gains can be obtained by charging near-zero transit fares in peak hours.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

Volume (Year): 42 (2008)
Issue (Month): 9 (November)
Pages: 1220-1230

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Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:42:y:2008:i:9:p:1220-1230

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Keywords: Transport Congestion Transit;

References

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  1. Parry, Ian W H & Bento, Antonio, 2001. " Revenue Recycling and the Welfare Effects of Road Pricing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 645-71, December.
  2. Kurt Van Dender, 2003. "Transport Taxes with Multiple Trip Purposes," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(2), pages 295-310, 06.
  3. Proost, Stef & Van Dender, Kurt, 2001. "The welfare impacts of alternative policies to address atmospheric pollution in urban road transport," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 383-411, July.
  4. De Witte, Astrid & Macharis, Cathy & Lannoy, Pierre & Polain, Céline & Steenberghen, Thérèse & Van de Walle, Stefaan, 2006. "The impact of "free" public transport: The case of Brussels," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 671-689, October.
  5. Richard Arnott, 2001. "The Economic Theory of Urban Traffic Congestion: A Microscopic Research Agenda," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 502, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Inge Mayeres & Stef Proost, 1998. "Marginal Tax Reform, Externalities and Income Distribution," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces9832, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  7. Mayeres, Inge & Proost, Stef, 1997. " Optimal Tax and Public Investment Rules for Congestion Type of Externalities," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(2), pages 261-79, June.
  8. Ian W.H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2007. "Should Urban Transit Subsidies Be Reduced?," Working Papers 060723, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  9. De Borger, Bruno & Wouters, Sandra, 1998. "Transport externalities and optimal pricing and supply decisions in urban transportation: a simulation analysis for Belgium," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 163-197, March.
  10. Kraus, Marvin, 1991. "Discomfort externalities and marginal cost transit fares," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 249-259, March.
  11. Mohring, Herbert, 1972. "Optimization and Scale Economies in Urban Bus Transportation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 591-604, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jos van Ommeren & Derk Wentink & Piet Rietveld, 2010. "Empirical Evidence on Cruising for Parking," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-028/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Mogens Fosgerau & André De Palma, 2012. "The dynamics of urban traffic congestion and the price of parking," Working Papers hal-00742104, HAL.
  3. Felix Creutzig, 2012. "Avoiding Carbon Lock-In: Policy Options for Advancing Structural Change," Working Papers 1, Department of Climate Change Economics, TU Berlin, revised Feb 2012.
  4. Basso, Leonardo J. & Guevara, Cristián Angelo & Gschwender, Antonio & Fuster, Marcelo, 2011. "Congestion pricing, transit subsidies and dedicated bus lanes: Efficient and practical solutions to congestion," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 676-684, September.
  5. van Ommeren, Jos & Wentink, Derk & Dekkers, Jasper, 2011. "The real price of parking policy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 25-31, July.
  6. Drevs, Florian & Tscheulin, Dieter K. & Lindenmeier, Jörg & Renner, Simone, 2014. "Crowding-in or crowding out: An empirical analysis on the effect of subsidies on individual willingness-to-pay for public transportation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 250-261.
  7. Tirachini, Alejandro & Hensher, David A. & Rose, John M., 2014. "Multimodal pricing and optimal design of urban public transport: The interplay between traffic congestion and bus crowding," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 33-54.
  8. Ian W. H. Parry & Kenneth A. Small, 2009. "Should Urban Transit Subsidies Be Reduced?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 700-724, June.
  9. Bigazzi, Alexander Y. & Figliozzi, Miguel A., 2013. "Marginal costs of freeway traffic congestion with on-road pollution exposure externality," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 12-24.
  10. Luke Haywood & Martin Koning, 2013. "Estimating Crowding Costs in Public Transport," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1293, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Basso, Leonardo J. & Jara-Díaz, Sergio R., 2012. "Integrating congestion pricing, transit subsidies and mode choice," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 890-900.
  12. Batarce, Marco & Ivaldi, Marc, 2014. "Urban travel demand model with endogenous congestion," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 331-345.
  13. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan & Hirte, Georg, 2012. "Should subsidies to urban passenger transport be increased? A spatial CGE analysis for a German metropolitan area," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 285-309.
  14. Ettema, Dick & Gärling, Tommy & Olsson, Lars E. & Friman, Margareta & Moerdijk, Sjef, 2013. "The road to happiness: Measuring Dutch car drivers’ satisfaction with travel," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 171-178.
  15. Jos van Ommeren & Derk Wentink & Jasper Dekkers, 2009. "The Real Price Of Parking Policy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-083/3, Tinbergen Institute.

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