IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Tunnel traffic and toll elasticities in Hong Kong: some recent evidence for international comparisons


  • Becky P Y Loo


In this paper, a set of double-log multiple regression models is developed to examine the monthly tunnel traffic of six major toll tunnels in Hong Kong for a 22-year period from January 1979 to September 2000. Despite the much lower percentage of households with cars (12.3%) and the higher dependence of passenger trips on public transport (80.2%), the estimated automobile elasticities in Hong Kong are remarkably similar to those reported in New York, where car ownership is high and the automobile is the dominant mode of transport. The empirical elasticity range in Hong Kong is from -0.103 to -0.291. This is similar to estimates for the United States (-0.13 to -0.45), the United Kingdom (-0.14 to -0.36), and Australia (-0.09 to -0.52). The findings suggest that toll increases are likely to be effective in raising revenue for tunnel management authorities but ineffective in reducing or reallocating automobile traffic for transport planning purposes. Policywise, suburbanization or the redistribution of population could have a much stronger influence on the urban transport market than a 'multifaceted pricing' strategy of raising the total costs of vehicle ownership and usage (including high vehicle-registration fees, parking, and gasoline prices). Moreover, improvements to railway connectivity and enhancement of travel speed on public transit could be much more effective than toll increases in relieving urban transport congestion problems at critical bottlenecks, such as downtown and suburb - downtown tunnels and bridges. The inclusion of lagged effects into the analysis further strengthens the above policy recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Becky P Y Loo, 2003. "Tunnel traffic and toll elasticities in Hong Kong: some recent evidence for international comparisons," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(2), pages 249-276, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:35:y:2003:i:2:p:249-276

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Marcycruz de Leon & Thomas M Fullerton Jr & Brian W Kelly, 2009. "Tolls, Exchange Rates, And Borderplex International Bridge Traffic," Articles, International Journal of Transport Economics, vol. 36(2).
    2. Ho, H.W. & Wong, S.C. & Yang, Hai & Loo, Becky P.Y., 2005. "Cordon-based congestion pricing in a continuum traffic equilibrium system," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(7-9), pages 813-834.
    3. Becky Loo, 2007. "The role of paratransit: some reflections based on the experience of residents’ coach services in Hong Kong," Transportation, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 471-486, July.
    4. Becky Loo & S. Wong & Timothy Hau, 2006. "Introducing alternative fuel vehicles in Hong Kong: views from the public light bus industry," Transportation, Springer, vol. 33(6), pages 605-619, November.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:35:y:2003:i:2:p:249-276. 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: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.