The Across Latitudes and Cultures BRT Centre of Excellence invites to its monthly webinar series to share timely public transit research and encourage ongoing collaboration. Our August Webinar will be:
“Urban Road Congestion Management: Capacity Investments and Pricing Policies”
Presented by Hugo E. Silva on August 30th, 9:00 Chile Summer Time (CLST, UTC -3:00). Hugo is Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics and at the Department of Transport Engineering and Logistics of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
Ways to deal with the increasing traffic growth rates have been intensively studied in the literature in the last decades. Two main approaches have been advanced to reduce urban road congestion. The first approach is to optimize the use of the existing road infrastructure through public transport prioritization (e.g. dedicated bus lanes and subsidization) and car congestion pricing, among others. The second approach is to increase the road capacity. This paper is concerned with studying the effects of road capacity investment. It also studies the interaction between the two approaches, that is, it compares the efficiency of bus lanes, congestion pricing, transit subsidization and road capacity expansion and it investigates the complementarities (or lack thereof) between them.
For this purpose, we first develop a theoretical model to study the welfare maximizing car congestion toll, transit price, bus frequency and road capacity. The model allows us to examine the relationship between investments in road capacity used by both modes and the optimal price of each mode. We then move to a numerical analysis of close-to-reality conditions, to study the efficiency of a road investment policy and its interaction with car congestion pricing and with transit prioritization measures (bus lanes and subsidization). We simulate the model using data from a representative European city as well as from a large metropolitan area from the US. We find that increasing road capacity used by cars as a unique policy always increases welfare, but it is hardly the most efficient policy. In particular, we consistently find that building road capacity for buses only (e.g. BRT) brings larger social benefits than building road capacity that is shared by both modes.
Hugo is Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics and at the Department of Transport Engineering and Logistics of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He is also a Researcher of the Centro de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable (CEDEUS) and Invited Researcher of the Complex Engineering Systems Institute (ISCI).
Hugo’s research areas are transportation economics and industrial organization. He has a particular interest in studying transport policies and regulation.
He received his Bachelor degree in Civil Engineering (2008) and his Master of Science degree in Transportation Engineering (2010) from Universidad de Chile. He obtained is PhD in Economics from the VU University.