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Congestion pricing, transit subsidies and dedicated bus lanes: Efficient and practical solutions to congestion

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  • Basso, Leonardo J.
  • Guevara, Cristián Angelo
  • Gschwender, Antonio
  • Fuster, Marcelo

Abstract

We analyze urban congestion management policies through numerical analysis of a simple model that: allows users to choose between car, bus or an outside option (biking); consider congestion interactions between cars and buses; and allow for optimization of frequency, vehicle size, spacing between stops and percentage of capacity to be dedicated to bus lanes. We compare resulting service levels, social welfare and consumer surplus for a number of different policies and find that: (i) dedicated bus lanes is a better stand-alone policy than transit subsidization or congestion pricing. The latter is marginally better than subsidization but has a negative impact in consumer surplus. (ii) Efficient transit subsidies are quite large since in many cases first-best transit price is negative; establishing dedicated bus lanes or implementing congestion pricing render subsidies unnecessary for high demand levels. (iii) Both subsidization and dedicated bus lanes would count with public support while congestion pricing would probably encounter opposition. (iv) Transit subsidies and/or congestion pricing do not induce large changes on optimal bus size, frequency, circulation speeds and spacing between stops in mixed-traffic conditions: dedicated bus lanes do. (v) In all cases analyzed, revenues from congestion pricing are enough to cover transit subsidies; the optimal percentage of capacity that should be devoted for bus traffic is around one third.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:18:y:2011:i:5:p:676-684
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Wang, Wei (Walker) & Wang, David Z.W. & Zhang, Fangni & Sun, Huijun & Zhang, Wenyi & Wu, Jianjun, 2017. "Overcoming the Downs-Thomson Paradox by transit subsidy policies," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 126-147.
    4. 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.
    5. Simone Borghesi & Chiara Calastri & Giorgio Fagiolo, 2014. "How do people choose their commuting mode? An evolutionary approach to transport choices," LEM Papers Series 2014/15, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    6. Tirachini, Alejandro, 2014. "The economics and engineering of bus stops: Spacing, design and congestion," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 37-57.
    7. Ihab Kaddoura & Benjamin Kickhöfer & Andreas Neumann & Alejandro Tirachini, 2015. "Agent-based optimisation of public transport supply and pricing: impacts of activity scheduling decisions and simulation randomness," Transportation, Springer, vol. 42(6), pages 1039-1061, November.
    8. repec:eee:touman:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:129-141 is not listed on IDEAS

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