VTPI NEWS - Autumn 2002
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
Autumn 2002 Vol. 5, No. 4
The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research
organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transportation
problems. The VTPI website (http://www.vtpi.org) has many resources
addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues. VTPI also
provides consulting services.
NOTE: PLEASE USE OUR CURRENT EMAIL ADDRESSES (litman@... or
info@...), RATHER THAN litman@..., WHICH WILL BE
DISCONTINUED IN THE FUTURE.
TRANSPORTATION COST AND BENEFIT ANALYSIS GUIDEBOOK
Available free at http://www.vtpi.org/tca.
VTPI has posted an Online edition of "Transportation Cost And Benefit
Analysis: Techniques, Estimates And Implications." This 350-page guidebook
provides comprehensive information on transportation costs and benefits for
use in planning and policy analysis. It is one of the most detailed studies
of transportation economic, social and environmental impacts, and the only
one that is regularly expanded and updated as new information becomes
available. It provides estimates of twenty costs for eleven transport modes
under three travel conditions in a format designed to easily compare
transportation alternatives. It also indicates the distribution of costs.
For example, it provides estimates of the internal and external costs of
automobile use, and the potential cost savings from a shift to alternative
modes under rural, urban-off-peak and urban-peak conditions.
The Guidebook reviews previous transportation impact studies, discusses
economic evaluation practices, describes how nonmarket impacts are
estimated, discusses major findings, evaluates criticisms of transportation
costing, and explores implications and applications of this research. It
provides extensive reference information, mostly available through the
Internet, allowing users to obtain additional information when needed.
VTPI ONLINE TDM ENCYCLOPEDIA EXPANSION AND UPDATE
The VTPI "Online TDM Encyclopedia" is the most comprehensive resource
available anywhere to help identify and evaluate innovative solutions to
transportation problems. It has dozens of chapters with hundreds of pages
of text and thousands of Internet links, providing convenient information
for Transportation Demand Management (TDM) planning, evaluation and
implementation. It is available free at http://www.vtpi.org/tdm. We have
been busy expanding and updating the Encyclopedia. Below are highlights.
NEW & UPDATED CHAPTERS
* Public Transit Encouragement (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm112.htm) - This
chapter describes various ways to encourage public transit ridership.
* TDM in Developing Regions (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm75.htm) - This
chapter discusses the implementation of TDM in developing (i.e.,
lower-income) areas. It describes many resources available to help
implement TDM in developing countries, and additional case studies.
* Smart Growth Policy Reforms (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm95.htm) - This
chapter describes various planning, regulatory and fiscal reforms that help
create more efficient land use. These reforms correct current practices
that encourage lower-density, urban periphery, automobile-dependent
* Pay-As-You-Drive Vehicle Insurance (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm79.htm) -
This chapter describe pricing reforms that result in more equitable and
efficient premiums, and reduce annual vehicle mileage by about 10% among
* Transportation Elasticities (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm11.htm) - This
chapter investigates the influence that prices have on travel behavior. It
summarizes research on various types of transportation elasticities and
describes how to use this information to predict the travel impacts of
specific TDM strategies.
* TDM Evaluation (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm14.htm) - This chapter
describes transportation evaluation methods and how they can be used to
evaluate the value of TDM programs. It now provides more detailed
information and more extensive references.
* Evaluating Nonmotorized Transport (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm63.htm) -
This chapter has much new information on techniques for measuring walking
and cycling conditions and prioritizing improvements.
* Fuel Taxes (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm17.htm) - This chapter provides
more information and case studies of fuel tax changes, and the (Fuel Trends
Spreadsheet (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/fueltrends.xls) includes U.S. fuel
consumption and price data over four decades.
The following new documents are posted at the VTPI website.
Todd Litman, "Transit Price Elasticities and Cross-Elasticities: For Urban
Transportation Demand Modeling," Victoria Transport Policy Institute
This paper summarizes price elasticities and cross elasticities for use in
public transit planning and modeling. It describes elasticities and how
they are used, summarizes previous research on transit elasticities.
Commonly used transit elasticity values are largely based on studies of
short- and medium-run impacts, performed decades ago when real incomes were
lower and a larger portion of the population was transit dependent. As a
result, they tend to be lower than appropriate to model long-run impacts.
Analysis based on these elasticity values tend to understate the potential
of transit fare reductions and service improvements to reduce problems such
as traffic congestion and vehicle pollution. They also understate the
long-term negative impacts that fare increases and service cuts can have on
transit ridership, transit revenue, traffic congestion and pollution emissions.
Todd Litman, "Efficient Vehicles Versus Efficient Transportation,"
This paper uses a comprehensive framework to evaluate four potential
transportation energy conservation and emission reduction strategies. The
analysis takes into account how each strategy affects total vehicle
mileage, and therefore mileage-related impacts such as congestion, facility
costs, crashes and consumer mobility benefits. Even small mileage changes
can have a large impact on the net value of an energy conservation
strategy. Fuel efficiency standards and some alternative fuels reduce
per-mile vehicle operating costs and so increase mileage (a rebound
effect). Mobility management strategies reduce mileage and so can provide
additional benefits. This study indicates that conventional evaluation
practices tend to overvalue strategies that increase vehicle fuel
efficiency and undervalue mobility management strategies by ignoring
impacts resulting from changes in vehicle mileage.
Todd Litman, "If Health Matters - Integrating Public Health Objectives in
Transportation Decision-Making," (http://www.vtpi.org/health.pdf).
This article investigates how transportation policy and planning practices
must change if public health objectives is to be given greater priority.
Conventional transportation decision-making focuses on some health impacts
but overlook others. It gives considerable attention to per-mile vehicle
crash risk and pollution emissions, but overlooks the safety and pollution
problems that result from increased vehicle mileage, and the negative
health impacts resulting from less physically active transportation. As a
result, transportation agencies tend to undervalue strategies that reduce
total vehicle travel and create a more diverse transportation system.
Mobility management impacts on traffic safety, pollution emissions and
physical activity are evaluated. This analysis suggests that giving greater
priority to health objectives in transportation decision-making would
reduce roadway and parking facility capacity expansion and increase support
for mobility management strategies, particularly those that increase
walking and cycling.
The following document was produced by VTPI and posted at the website of
Island Transformations, an independent community development organization
that commissioned the study.
Todd Litman, "Light Rail Economic Opportunity Study: Evaluating Light Rail
Transit As A Solution To Capital Regional Transportation Problems", Island
Transformation (http://www.islandtransformations.org), November 2002.
This study investigates the value a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system could
provide in the Victoria, BC region, and compares this with other
transportation improvement options. It takes into account a wide range of
economic, social and environmental impacts.
Transportation Research Board
The following events are part of the Transportation Research Board Annual
Meeting, held in Washington DC, January 12-17, 2003. For information see
Pedestrian Design Workshop - Economic Valuation of Walking
The Human Factors Workshop on pedestrian facility design (workshop 103), to
be held January 12 will include the following presentations. (Note, this
workshop involves an additional $150 fee.)
* Greg Lindsey, Director, Center for Urban Policy and the
Environment (www.urbancenter.iupui.edu/container.htm) - will discuss
techniques for quantifying transportation and land use decision impacts on
urban quality of life, and particularly the value of public trails.
* Rune Elvik, Economist, Norwegian Centre for Transport Research
(http://www.toi.no/English/default.asp) - will discuss biases in standard
cost-benefit analyses of transport projects that tend to undervalue walking
and cycling investments.
* Robin Blair, Planner, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority
(http://www.mta.net) - shares experience developing walking districts, how
changing perceptions of space and distance in the urban environment can
encourage walking, and how this affects property values.
* Todd Litman, Director, Victoria Transport Policy Institute
(www.vtpi.org) will discuss the Economic Value of Walkability and Walking
(see paper described above).
* Michael Ronkin, Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, Oregon Dept. of
Transportation (http://www.odot.state.or.us) will discuss how the design
of street crossings and intersections affects pedestrian access and safety,
and how urban design can entice pedestrian movement.
Other TRB Sessions
VTPI Director Todd Litman will give the following presentations at TRB.
Session 222, Monday, 8:00 AM9:45 AM
Sustainable Transportation Symposium, Part 1: Best Local Practice
"Measuring Sustainability at the Project Level"
This presentation will discuss practical indicators that can be used to
evaluate progress toward sustainable transport.
Session 452, Tuesday, 10:15 AM12:00 PM
Marketing: How Soft Policies Can Solve Hard Transportation Problems
"Mobility Management Marketing"
This presentation will discuss the increasingly important role of marketing
(determining what consumers want, delivering what they want, and letting
them know what is available) for transportation problem solving.
Session 728, Wednesday, 7:30 PM9:15 PM
Walkability Issues of Adult and Child Pedestrians
"Economic Value of Walkability"
This presentation will discuss the paper "Economic Value of Walkability"
(described above) and its implications for transportation planning.
Walk21 Conference 2003 Targeted Call for Papers
Planning is underway for Walk21 IV: Health, Equity & Environment, the 4th
International Conference on Walking in the 21st Century, to be held in
Portland, Oregon, USA, 1-3 May 2003. The conference will focus on
rethinking the context and perfecting the tools for a walkable world. It is
expected to attract advocates, practitioners, academics and policy makers
from around the world.Earlybird registration will be available beginning 2
The call for papers, which closed in September, netted well over a hundred
submissions, a record for the Walk21 conferences to date. While the quality
of the accepted abstracts is excellent, the Program Committee did identify
some gaps in subject area, and has issued a limited call for additional
abstracts on four specific topics:
* Pedestrian Travel and Alcohol
* Pedestrian Travel and Personal Security
* Pedestrian Travel and Training for Practitioners
* Pedestrian Travel and Mobility Management
The deadline for submissions for this limited call is Friday, December 13,
2002. For more information about the limited call for abstracts or the
conference as a whole, visit http://www.walk21.com.
Transport Geography on the Web (http://www.people.hofstra.edu/geotrans)
provides access to transport geography information, including academic
articles, maps, figures, and datatsets. VTPI will be contributing material
to this excellent website.
Sustainable Transportation Live (www.movingtheeconomy.ca), by Moving the
Economy, is a website that provides information on how to apply sustainable
transportation principles to help reduce traffic congestion, facility
costs, pollution and other transport problems.
CIVITAS (www.civitas-initiative.org) is a European Commission supported
initiative to help introduce sustainable urban transport strategies.
Smart Growth America (www.smartgrowthamerica.org) is a nationwide coalition
promoting new development patterns that protect farmland and open space,
revitalize neighborhoods, keeps housing affordable, and provides more
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