Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
Summer 1999 Vol. 2, No. 2
NEW AND REVISED REPORTS AT VTPI WEBSITE
The VTPI website has more than two dozen reports available for free
downloading, covering a wide range of transportation planning and policy
issues. These resources provide practical strategies for incorporating
social and environmental values into transportation decision making. There
are also links to other useful websites.
*Transportation Cost Analysis Summary*
This 45-page paper provides an overview of transportation costing issues.
It defines major cost categories, describes how costs are estimated,
summarizes major findings, and explores implications of this research. It
provides estimates of twenty costs for eleven transport modes under three
travel conditions. This creates a framework for comparing the costs of
different modes under various conditions, and potential benefits from
policies that change travel patterns. The report discusses how this
information can be used in transportation decision making, and responds to
various criticisms of transport costing. An appendix summarizes previous
transportation cost studies. Like all VTPI reports, it has extensive
citations and references.
The following reports have been significantly revised:
*Evaluating Traffic Calming Benefits, Costs and Equity Impacts*
This 30-page paper describes traffic calming devices and methods, discusses
various impacts of traffic calming, and provides guidance for evaluating
traffic calming projects. It lists references and websites for additional
traffic calming information.
*Evaluating Transportation Equity*
This 22-page paper discusses different types of equity, describes ways to
evaluate transportation equity, and provides examples of transportation
*Generated Traffic; Implications for Transport Planning*
This 21-page paper describes how the effects of generated traffic (also
called "induced travel") can be incorporated into transport planning. It
describes various types of generated traffic, how to measure and predict
their impacts, and how ignoring these effects skews analysis and results in
economically inefficient investments and policies.
*Quantifying the Benefits of Non-Motorized Travel for Achieving TDM
This 20-page paper explores how walking and cycling can help achieve
Transportation Demand Management objectives, provides guidance on
quantifying these benefits, and discusses practical ways for communities to
encourage non-motorized transport.
*Pavement Busters Guide*
This guidebook describes how current zoning and transportation practices
result in excessive amounts of land being paved for roads and parking
facilities, discusses the economic, social and environmental costs that
result, and describes practical strategies for reducing pavement
requirements while maintaining mobility and access.
*Potential Transportation Demand Management Strategies*
This 24-page paper provides a comprehensive list of strategies that can
help create a more efficient and equitable transportation system. It
includes extensive citations and references for TDM strategies and
programs, many available on the Internet.
*Win-Win Transportation Management Strategies*
Our revised Win-Win webpage now includes references and web links for each
recommended strategy. Win-Win strategies are technically feasible and cost
effective ways to solve transport problems by increasing consumer choice
and removing market distortions that cause inefficient travel patterns.
They are justified for their economic benefits (reduced congestion, road
and parking facility costs, accident reductions and consumer savings) and
also provide substantial social, environmental and equity benefits. If
fully implemented they could approximately achieve the Kyoto emission
reduction objectives for transportation while increasing economic
productivity, employment, and consumer welfare. Win-Win strategies
demonstrate that environmental protection need not conflict with economic
A revised version of "Reply to Criticisms of Transportation Costing" will
be posted at our website next week.
*Transportation Paradise; Realm of the Nearly Perfect Automobile?*
Professor John Pucher's Review Of "Driving Forces" by James A. Dunn, Jr.,
to be published in Summer 1999 Transportation Quarterly.
Pucher argues that Dunn misrepresents complex transportation policy debates
as simple ideological conflicts between an irrational "anti-auto vanguard"
and rational American consumers. Pucher concludes that many problems
dismissed in Dunn's book are significant, and an ideologically neutral
perspective (neither "pro" or "anti" auto) justifies policy shifts toward
more balanced transportation. This review is posted at our website at the
*Todd Litman's review of "Roads in a Market Economy" by Gabriel Roth*.
This review discusses strengths and weaknesses of Roth's book. Roth argues
that the current transportation system could be more efficient and
equitable if market principles were applied to road transport, including
full cost pricing of road and parking facilities, and marginal cost pricing
of externalities such as congestion, accidents and pollution. Although it
includes much useful economic analysis, many readers may be put off by its
excessive pro-highway, pro-corporation, anti-environmentalist,
anti-transit, and anti-government ideology. It insults those with different
perspectives and contains technical inaccuracies that result from an
uncritical acceptance of highway/automobile industry claims.
EMPLOYER PROVIDED TAX-EXEMPT TRANSIT BENEFITS
U.S. tax law now allows employees to recieve tax exempt transit benefits as
an alternative to subsidized parking (for information see The USEPA
Commuter Choice Program
Canada does not have such a policy. As a result, most commuters who drive
have subsidized parking but virtually none are offered transit subsidies as
an alternative. A coalition of transportation, municipal government,
environmental and labour organizations are lobbying to change this
practice. On April 13th, the House of Commons carried Motion 360 by a vote
of 241 to 25. Even the Prime Minister stood in favour of the motion.
Although this is a non-binding resolution asking Revenue Canada to
implement this policy change, it sends a strong signal that the people of
Canadian favor making transit benefits tax exempt.
Much of the discussion of this issue was based on a study we performed two
years ago, "Employer Provided Transit Passes; A Tax Exempt Benefit" for the
Transit Advocacy Project. Our analysis showed that giving commuters this
incentive to shift from driving to public transit provides significant
benefits at virtually no cost. For more information on this issue contact
project coordinator Amelia Shaw at [log in to unmask]
TRB SUSTAINABILITY TASK FORCE
VTPI Director, Todd Litman, has been appointed to Transportation Research
Board Task Force A5T57 on Transportation and Sustainability, which will
explore how sustainability issues affect transportation, and how
transportation affects sustainability.
Please contact us for transportation research assistance and policy
analysis. VTPI is currently working on the following consulting projects:
· A study of distance-based insurance pricing.
· Development of a bicycle/pedestrian planning guidebook.
· An NCHRP study of ways to more accurately incorporate economic and social
impacts into transportation planning.
· Evaluating the benefits of a university commute trip reduction program.
· Assistance to the Way to Go! School Program which promotes alternative
transportation for school trips.
The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is dedicated to innovative research
and analysis. We develop practical tools for incorporating social and
environmental values into transportation decision making.
Please let us know if you have comments or questions about any information
presented in this newsletter, or if you would like to be removed from our
mailing list. Feel free to pass this newsletter and other VTPI information
to anybody who may find it useful.
Todd Litman, Director
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
1250 Rudlin Street
Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada
Phone & Fax: 250-360-1560
E-mail: [log in to unmask]