IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Does public transit reduce car travel externalities? Quasi-natural experiments' evidence from transit strikes

Listed author(s):
  • Adler, Martin W.
  • van Ommeren, Jos N.

One of the unanswered questions in the field of urban economics is to which extent subsidies to public transit are justified. We examine one of the main benefits of public transit, a reduction in car congestion externalities, the so-called congestion relief benefit, using quasi-natural experimental data on citywide public transit strikes for Rotterdam, a city with mild congestion levels. On weekdays, a strike induces travel times to increase only marginally on the highway ring road (0.017min/km) but substantially on inner city roads (0.224min/km). During rush hour, the strike effect is much more pronounced. The congestion relief benefit of public transit is substantial, equivalent to about 80% of the public transit subsidy. We demonstrate that during weekends, travel time does not change noticeably due to strikes. Furthermore, we show that public transit strikes induce similar increases in number of cyclists as number of car travelers suggesting that bicycling-promoting policies to reduce car congestion externalities might be attractive in combination with first-best congestion pricing.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094119016000024
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2016)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 106-119

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:92:y:2016:i:c:p:106-119
DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2016.01.001
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Marsden, Greg & Docherty, Iain, 2013. "Insights on disruptions as opportunities for transport policy change," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 46-55.
  2. Fosgerau, Mogens & Small, Kenneth A., 2013. "Hypercongestion in downtown metropolis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 122-134.
  3. Mohring, Herbert, 1972. "Optimization and Scale Economies in Urban Bus Transportation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 591-604, September.
  4. Adler, Martin W. & Ommeren, Jos van & Rietveld, Piet, 2013. "Road congestion and incident duration," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 109-118.
  5. 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.
  6. Leonardo J. Basso & Hugo E. Silva, 2014. "Efficiency and Substitutability of Transit Subsidies and Other Urban Transport Policies," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 1-33, November.
  7. van Exel, N. Job A. & Rietveld, Piet, 2001. "Public transport strikes and traveller behaviour," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 237-246, October.
  8. Michael L. Anderson, 2014. "Subways, Strikes, and Slowdowns: The Impacts of Public Transit on Traffic Congestion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(9), pages 2763-2796, September.
  9. David Card, 1990. "Strikes and Wages: A Test of an Asymmetric Information Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 625-659.
  10. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2011. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2616-2652, October.
  11. Arnott, Richard, 2013. "A bathtub model of downtown traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 110-121.
  12. Nelson, Peter & Baglino, Andrew & Harrington, Winston & Safirova, Elena & Lipman, Abram, 2007. "Transit in Washington, DC: Current benefits and optimal level of provision," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 231-251, September.
  13. 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 645-671, December.
  14. Roberto Franzosi, 1989. "One Hundred Years of Strike Statistics: Methodological and Theoretical Issues in Quantitative Strike Research," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(3), pages 348-362, April.
  15. Proost, Stef & Dender, Kurt Van, 2008. "Optimal urban transport pricing in the presence of congestion, economies of density and costly public funds," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1220-1230, November.
  16. Compton, Janice & Pollak, Robert A., 2014. "Family proximity, childcare, and women’s labor force attachment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 72-90.
  17. Yihsu Chen & Alexander Whalley, 2012. "Green Infrastructure: The Effects of Urban Rail Transit on Air Quality," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 58-97, February.
  18. Geroliminis, Nikolas & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2008. "Existence of urban-scale macroscopic fundamental diagrams: Some experimental findings," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 759-770, November.
  19. Daganzo, Carlos F. & Gayah, Vikash V. & Gonzales, Eric J., 2011. "Macroscopic relations of urban traffic variables: Bifurcations, multivaluedness and instability," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 278-288, January.
  20. Lo, Shih-Che & Hall, Randolph W., 2006. "Effects of the Los Angeles transit strike on highway congestion," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 903-917, December.
  21. Johnson, William R., 2014. "House prices and female labor force participation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-11.
  22. Winston, Clifford & Maheshri, Vikram, 2007. "On the social desirability of urban rail transit systems," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 362-382, September.
  23. Graham, Daniel J., 2007. "Variable returns to agglomeration and the effect of road traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 103-120, July.
  24. Kantor, Yuval & Rietveld, Piet & van Ommeren, Jos, 2014. "Towards a general theory of mixed zones: The role of congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 50-58.
  25. Oecd, 2013. "How is International Student Mobility Shaping Up?," Education Indicators in Focus 14, OECD Publishing.
  26. Kok, Nils & Monkkonen, Paavo & Quigley, John M., 2014. "Land use regulations and the value of land and housing: An intra-metropolitan analysis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 136-148.
  27. Martin W. Adler & Jos N. van Ommeren, 2015. "Does Public Transit reduce Car Travel Externalities?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-011/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:92:y:2016:i:c:p:106-119. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.