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Envisioning an emission diet: application of travel demand mechanisms to facilitate policy decision making


  • Timothy Welch


  • Sabyasachee Mishra



Emission reduction strategies are gaining attention as planning agencies work towards adherence to air quality conformity standards. Policymakers struggling to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) must grapple with a growing number of travel demand policies. To consider any of these emerging demand mechanisms as a viable option to meet emission targets, planners and policymakers need tools to better understand the implications of such policies on travel behavior. In this paper we present an integrated multimodal travel demand and emission model of four policy strategies; presenting GHG and air pollutant reduction results at a very detailed level. Multiple policy outcomes are compared within a single modeling framework and study area. The results reveal that while no one demand mechanism is likely to reduce emissions to a level that meets policy-maker’s goals; a first-best pricing strategy that incorporates marginal social costs is the most effective emission reduction mechanism. Implementing such a mechanism may offer total emission reductions of up to 24 %. However, the efficacy of this strategy must be weighed against difficulties of establishing efficient pricing, a costly implementation, and substantial negative impacts to non-highway facilities. Decision makers must select a mixture of pricing and land use strategies to achieve emission goals on all road facilities. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Welch & Sabyasachee Mishra, 2014. "Envisioning an emission diet: application of travel demand mechanisms to facilitate policy decision making," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 611-631, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:41:y:2014:i:3:p:611-631
    DOI: 10.1007/s11116-013-9511-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Korsu, Emre & Le Néchet, Florent, 2017. "Would fewer people drive to work in a city without excess commuting? Explorations in the Paris metropolitan area," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 259-274.


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