Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
Summer 2001 Vol. 4, No. 2
The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research
organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transportation
problems. The VTPI website has many resources addressing a wide range of
transport planning and policy issues. VTPI also provides consulting services.
VTPI ONLINE TDM ENCYCLOPEDIA - MAJOR EXPANSION AND UPDATE
The VTPI "Online TDM Encyclopedia" is being significantly expanded and
updated. This is a unique and comprehensive resource to help transportation
professionals identify and evaluate innovative solutions to transportation
problems. The Encyclopedia now has more than 75 chapters with hundreds of
pages of text and thousands of Internet links. The Encyclopedia is likely
to become one of your most useful information resources for transportation
and land use planning. It is available free at http://www.vtpi.org/tdm.
NEW CHAPTERS - There are more than a dozen new chapters, including:
- Freight Transport Management
- Aviation Transport Management
- Taxi Service Improvements
- Pay-As-You-Drive Vehicle Insurance
- Universal Design (accommodating people with special needs)
- Individual Actions for Efficient Transportation
- Transportation Costs and Benefits (monetized estimates)
- Costs of Driving (and savings from reduced vehicle use)
- Transportation Statistics (data sources)
- TDM and Sustainable Transportation
- TDM in Developing Regions
- Safety and Health Impacts
- Parking Solutions
- Parking Evaluation
- Pricing Evaluation
- Pricing Methods (techniques for collecting parking and road fees)
- TDM Planning and Implementation
- Comprehensive Transportation Evaluation
- Measuring Transportation
- Evaluating Transportation Choice
- and more...
Below are some highlights of this update:
* PRINTABLE! - You can now print chapters of the Encyclopedia directly from
your browser. (We corrected a glitch in the Microsoft Word HTML conversion
function that inserted numerous unnecessary page-break codes, resulting in
many wasted sheets of paper. If you experienced this problem, please
invoice Bill Gates at Microsoft Corporation for any costs.)
* MORE COMPREHENSIVE - There is much more detail on many issues, including
additional information on specific strategies, evaluation techniques and
* NEW AND BETTER REFERENCES - We regularly update references, many of which
are available directly through the Internet. This allows you to obtain
additional information and resources on each subject.
* PARKING MANAGEMENT - New and expanded chapters including "Parking
Solutions," "Parking Evaluation," "Parking Management," and "Parking
Pricing" provide information on a variety of ways to address parking
problems and encourage more efficient use of parking resources.
* PLANNING TECHNIQUES - The "TDM Planning and Implementation,"
"Comprehensive Transportation Evaluation," and "Measuring Transportation"
chapters provide information on improved transportation planning and
* TRANSPORTATION COSTS - We have significantly updated and expanded the
"Transportation Cost" chapter, and have added a new chapter on the "Costs
of Driving." This can help you calculate the savings that result from TDM
strategies that reduce vehicle use.
* SAFETY, SECURITY AND HEALTH IMPACTS OF TDM - A new chapter examines the
safety, personal security and health benefits that can result from various
TDM strategies. These are significant and often overlooked impacts.
* INDIVIDUAL ACTIONS - The "Individual Actions for Efficient
Transportation" chapter describes ways that people can support TDM in their
This update is nearly complete. Over the next month we plan to make minor
changes. As always, we appreciate any suggestions for improving these
NEW & UDATED REPORTS
The following documents are posted at http://www.vtpi.org.
During the last few months we have worked on several projects related to
distance-based vehicle insurance. As a result, our reports on this concept
have been significantly revised:
* "Distance-Based Vehicle Insurance As A TDM Strategy" This 25-page paper
is an updated version of the article originally published in Transportation
Quarterly in 1997. It describes and compares various distance-based
insurance pricing strategies.
* "Distance-Based Vehicle Insurance Feasibility, Costs and Benefits;
Comprehensive Technical Report"
This is the 80-page (plus 35 pages of appendices) detailed study of the
benefits, costs, equity impacts and feasibility of distance-based insurance
* "Efficient Vehicles Versus Efficient Transportation: Comprehensive
Comparison of Fuel Efficiency Standards And Transportation Demand
Management," submitted for presentation at the Transportation Research
Board 81st Annual Meeting, January, 2002.
Fuel efficiency standards and other strategies to increase vehicle fuel
efficiency reduce the cost of driving, resulting in increased vehicle
travel. This "rebound effect" typically offsets 10-30% of the fuel
efficiency gains, so a 10% increase in average fuel efficiency causes a
1-3% increase in vehicle mileage, resulting in a net fuel savings of 7-9%.
The increased vehicle mileage imposes a number of costs on society,
including increased traffic congestion, road and parking facility costs,
crashes, urban sprawl, and increases in some pollution emissions. These
incremental costs are significant compared with fuel savings benefits.
Emission reduction strategies that increase total vehicle mileage by even a
small amount may be harmful to society overall, while those that also
reduce vehicle mileage can provide far greater total benefits to society.
* "What's It Worth? Life Cycle and Benefit/Cost Analysis for Evaluating
Economic Value." Originally presented at the Internet Symposium on
Benefit-Cost Analysis, Transportation Association of Canada
"My Toughest Challenge...The Clearwater Roundabout Charrette," by Dan Burden.
Dan Burden is one of America's leading advocates for pedestrian
transportation and livable communities. This short paper describes his
experience dealing with a hostile crowd, and how his team won the community
over with good communication and a positive vision. It is an excellent
illustration of the obstacles and opportunities facing planners who must
deal with public involvement. (Posted with permission.)
"Does Public Transit Raise Site Values Around Its Stops Enough To Pay For
Itself, Were The Value Captured?," by Jeffery J. Smith.
This paper examines research on the land value impacts of public transit
service, and particularly whether the value increases can repay some or all
of public transit service costs. It summarizes the results of more than 70
studies. Jeffery J. Smith is the President of the Geonomy Society, a group
of academics and activists who provide information about how the flow of
natural rents impacts economies, societies, and the environment. (Posted
The following VTPI articles were published in peer-reviewed journals.
"Generated Traffic; Implications for Transport Planning," ITE Journal, Vol.
71, No. 4, Institute of Transportation Engineers (www.ite.org), April,
2001, pp. 38-47; also available at Victoria Transport Policy Institute
(www.vtpi.org). This is the first article on this subject published in the
ITE Journal, directed at transportation practioners.
"Optimal Level of Automobile Dependency; A TQ Point/Counterpoint Exchange
with Peter Samuel and Todd Litman," Transportation Quarterly, Vol. 55, No.
1, Winter 2001, pp. 5-32.
"You Can Get There from Here; Evaluating Transportation Choice,"
Transportation Research Record, forthcoming 2001; available at www.vtpi.org.
* Centre For Sustainable Transportation President Search
Centre for Sustainable Transportation is a Canadian-chartered, membership
based, non-profit organization that began work in 1996. Its mission is to
provide leadership in developing more sustainable transportation by
facilitating research and cooperative action by government agencies,
industries and individuals. In the past four years, the Centre has launched
a number of projects including its annual Sustainable Transportation
Monitor newsletter. The Centre has an ambitious work plan of important
projects that can come to fruition only through more membership and
funding. More information about the Centre is available at www.cstctd.org.
The Centre is currently searching for a new president. The ideal candidate
is well versed in all aspects of sustainable transportation. He/she
understands the dynamics between governments and private sector parties
involved in transportation and will be acquainted with many of the
The candidate should be a self-starter, capable of working independently
and as a team member, with the energy and motivation to take on an
interesting and important set of challenges. At this time, an annual
compensation of up to $50,000 is available depending upon experience and
If you are interested, please send your resume electronically by September
28, 2001 to:
Michael S. McNeil
Chair - Search Committee
Centre for Sustainable Transportation
* Distance-Based Vehicle Insurance
Bill 3871 introduced in the 2001 Oregon legislature, which would have
provided tax credits to insurers that offer "pay as you drive" pricing
failed to pass this year, but supporters hope it will be reintroduced in
the next session. It was endorsed by the National Association of
Independent Insurers, regional governments, the Oregon/Idaho chapter of the
American Automobile Association, the Oregon Consumer League, environmental
organizations, citizen transportation reform groups and the Interfaith
Global Warming Campaign. For information see
contact Christine Hagerbaumer at the Oregon Environmental Council
* The USEPA is working on a program to encourage vehicle insurers to offer
Pay-As-You-Drive insurance pricing. Background analysis is currently being
performed, with the hope of having program guidelines developed over the
* We submitted the final report on our major study of distance-based
pricing for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the
government corporation that covers 90% of vehicle insurance in this
province. We have a new government in BC, which appointed an entirely new
ICBC board of directors that we hope will be interested in this pricing
* The US Federal Highway Administration's Value Pricing Program has
received at least three proposals for distance-based insurance pilot
projects. The final decision as to which will receive grants is expected
within the next few weeks. For more information contact Allen Greenberg at
NOTES CONCERNING TERRORISM AND TRANSPORTATION POLICY
This newsletter was originally scheduled for distribution on September 11,
the day the terrorist attacks occurred in New York and Washington DC. We
deferred it a week in response.
We share grief, sorrow and frustration from this event, and would like to
express sincere condolences to everybody who suffered from this tragedy. We
have many colleagues in New York and Washington DC. I sometimes visit these
cities, and attended a conference at the World Trade Center. I realize with
great sadness that some intended recipients of this newsletter may have
been killed or injured by the attack.
These events and society's responses can be viewed from many different
perspectives. Here are some implications with regard to transportation policy.
* The damage and confusion in downtown New York City illustrates the value
of having a diverse and robust transportation system that functions under
unexpected or extreme conditions (what engineers call "resilience" and
economists call "option value"). Walking, cycling, public transit, taxi
service and telecommunications tend to be particularly important during a
major disaster or other unplanned event. For discussion see the "Evaluation
Transportation Choice" chapter of our Encyclopedia at
* Transportation management is important during and after a disaster,
including the ability to communicate with travelers, control vehicle
access, prioritize roadway capacity (for example, giving top priority to
emergency vehicles, secondary priority to public service vehicles, third
priority to transit and HOV vehicles, and lowest priority to general
traffic), and encourage use of alternative modes. For discussion see the
"Special Event Transport Management" chapter at
* Some travelers may become more fearful of flying, and additional security
precautions at airports will increase the financial and time costs of air
travel, reducing total air travel demand, or at least its growth rate. This
has mixed blessings: it will be difficult for the airline industry but will
reduce airport congestion and aviation pollution, and can help achieve
sustainability objectives. See the "Sustainable Transportation" chapter at
* There may be opportunities to encourage shifts from air travel to
alternative modes, such as interregional bus and rail travel for
medium-distance (100-1,000 mile) trips. For discussion see the "Aviation
TDM" chapter at http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm77.htm
and the "Tourist
Transport Management" chapter at http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm46.htm.
* The airline industry will face significant financial difficulties for the
foreseeable future, causing reductions in employment and revenues, and
perhaps some bankruptcies. There is likely to be political pressure to
subsidize the industry, based on claims that air travel is critical for
national economic development. But there are good reasons to resist such
demands and question whether increased air travel necessarily contributes
to economic development. See the "Economic Development" chapter at
* Although the destruction and pain caused by these terrorist acts is
grievous, it is much less than the deaths and damages caused by "normal"
traffic crashes. Fatal traffic crashes are so common that they tend to be
overlooked compared with occasional, large, malicious disasters. It would
be unfortunate if increased concern about terrorism results in reduced
efforts to prevent more common transportation risks. For discussion see the
"Safety and Health Impacts of TDM" chapter at
* There may be new concerns about petroleum supply and price uncertainty,
and perhaps price spikes and temporary shortages in the future. This
increases the importance of transportation management for energy
conservation, affordability and emergency response. See the new "Emission
Reduction and Energy Conservation Strategies", currently under development,
which should be posted by the end of October.
* There are likely to be many changes proposed to transportation system
policies and management practices in response to terrorist threats. It is
best if a comprehensive framework is used to evaluate these options, so
solutions can be selected that also help achieve other transportation
improvement objectives. For discussion see the "Comprehensive
Transportation Evaluation" chapter at http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm76.htm.
Please let us know if you have comments or questions about any information
in this newsletter, or if you would like to be removed from our mailing
list. And please pass this newsletter on to others who may find it useful.
Todd Litman, Director
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
1250 Rudlin Street
Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada
Phone & Fax: 250-360-1560