VTPI News - Spring 2004
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
Spring 2004 Vol. 7, No. 1
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.
VTPI ONLINE TDM ENCYCLOPEDIA - UPDATES
The VTPI "Online TDM Encyclopedia" (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm) is the most
comprehensive resource available anywhere to help identify and evaluate
innovative management solutions to transport problems. We have recently
updated many Encyclopedia chapters, including the following:
'Transportation Elasticities' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm11.htm)
'Fuel Tax Increases' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm17.htm)
'Land Use Impacts on Transport' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm20.htm)
'Road Pricing' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm35.htm)
'TDM and Economic Development' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm54.htm)
'Safety Evaluation' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm58.htm)
'Smart Growth Reforms' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm95.htm)
We have also changed the Encyclopedia's references format. To make it
easier to find citations, the last name of the first author is now in bold
font. This helps find a name when scanning a long list of references, and
clarifies the differences in alphabetical order between a firm and a
personal name (for example, a document by a company named 'Wilber Smith' is
alphabetized under 'W,' but a document by Mr. Wilber Smith is alphabetized
under 'S'). Please let me know what you think of this style and whether we
should keep it.
We have posted several important new or significantly updated documents on
"Managing Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) On Nonmotorized Facilities"
This paper explores the most appropriate way to manage the diverse range of
Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs) (bicycles, wheelchairs, scooters, skates,
Segways) on nonmotorized facilities (walkways, sidewalks, paths, trails,
etc.). PMDs are becoming increasingly common, resulting in new conflicts
and opportunities. This paper examine the broader context of these issues,
includes results of a recent survey of the legal status of electric powered
PMDs, and develops general principles and guidelines for managing PMD use.
"Comprehensive Evaluation of Rail Transit Benefits"
This report evaluates the benefits of rail transit based on a comprehensive
analysis of transportation system performance in major U.S. cities. It
finds that cities with larger, well-established rail systems have
significantly higher per capita transit ridership, lower average per capita
vehicle ownership and mileage, less traffic congestion, lower traffic death
rates and lower consumer transportation expenditures than otherwise
comparable cities. The paper discusses best practices for evaluating
transit benefits and critiques other documents critical of rail transit
investments. (Note, this paper and the spreadsheet used in its analysis
were significantly revised during the last month.)
"Pay-As-You-Drive Pricing For Insurance Affordability"
This paper describes Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) pricing and how it can
increase vehicle insurance affordability. PAYD means that premiums are
directly related to annual vehicle mileage. This increases insurance
affordability by giving motorists a new opportunity to save money by
minimizing their annual vehicle mileage. PAYD pricing redefines insurance
affordability to mean that higher-risk drivers must limit their mileage to
the amount of risk they can afford. This reduces high risk driving and
accidents, and eliminates the need for unfair cross-subsidies between rate
classes, providing numerous benefits to individual motorists and society
"Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs"
This guidebook describes how to create a comprehensive framework for
evaluating the full impacts (benefits and costs) of a particular transit
service or improvement. It identifies various categories of impacts and how
to measure them. It discusses best practices for transit evaluation and
identifies common errors that distort results. It discusses the travel
impacts of various types of transit system changes and incentives. It
describes ways to optimize transit benefits by increasing system
efficiency, increasing ridership and creating more transit oriented land
use patterns. It compares automobile and transit costs, and the advantages
and disadvantages of bus and rail transit. It includes examples of transit
evaluation, and provides extensive references. (Note, this is significantly
revised compared with earlier versions of this document.)
"Parking Requirement Impacts on Housing Affordability"
Generous parking requirements reduce housing affordability and impose
various economic and environmental costs on society. Based on typical
affordable housing development costs, one parking space per unit increases
costs by about 12.5%, and two parking spaces increase costs by about 25%.
Since parking costs increase as a percentage of rent for lower priced
housing, and housing represents a larger portion of household expenditures
for poorer households, parking costs are regressive. Various parking
management strategies described in this report can increase affordability,
economic efficiency and equity. (Note, this is significantly revised
compared with earlier versions of this document.)
"The Value of Downtown" (http://www.vtpi.org/downtown.pdf)
This paper describes the unique role that downtowns have in many region's
economy and identify, discusses whether downtowns are really dangerous, and
identifies various strategies for improving downtowns.
"Appropriate Response to Rising Fuel Prices"
Recent fuel price increases have renewed calls to reduce fuel taxes and
increase production subsidies. But the best policy response overall is to
increase taxes and do everything possible to expand travel options and
improve transportation system efficiency. This short paper explains why.
"Fuel Trends Spreadsheet" (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/fueltrends.xls)
This spreadsheet contains data on annual U.S. motor vehicle fuel
consumption, fuel price, tax rates, vehicle mileage and fuel efficiency
from 1960 through 2002 or 2004. It shows that, despite recent fuel price
increases, fuel costs per gallon and per vehicle-mile are still low by
"Urban-Rural Differences in Mobility and Mode Choice: Evidence from the
2001 NHTS," (http://www.vtpi.org/pucher_ur.pdf), by John Pucher and John L.
This paper uses data from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey to
compare travel behavior in rural and urban areas of the United States. As
expected, the car is the overwhelmingly dominant mode of travel. Over 97%
of rural households own at least one car vs. 92% of urban households; 91%
of trips are made by car in rural areas vs. 86% in urban areas. Mobility
levels in rural areas are generally higher than in urban areas. The rural
elderly and poor are considerably more mobile than their urban
counterparts, and their mobility deficit compared to the rural population
average is strikingly less than for the urban elderly and poor compared to
the urban average.
"Transport Policies in Central and Eastern Europe"
(http://www.vtpi.org/PucherCentralEurope.pdf), by John Pucher and Ralph
This paper compares transportation trends in the formerly socialist
countries of Central and Eastern Europe since the demise of Communism in
the late 1980s and early 1990s. It discusses these changes, their benefits
and costs, and potential ways of dealing with the problems that result. The
most obvious indicator of that revolution is the dramatic growth in levels
of private car ownership and use, and a corresponding decline in public
transport use. The modal shift in passenger transport is mirrored in most
countries by similar changes in goods transport. While the increasing
reliance on roadway transport had already started during the later years of
the socialist era, the movement toward market-based capitalism greatly
accelerated it, prompted by striking changes in government transport policies.
"Overcoming Obstacles of Car Culture: Promoting an Alternative to Car
Dependence Instead of Another Travel Mode," (www.vtpi.org/roth.pdf), by
This paper explores the effectiveness of promoting Environment Friendly
Modes (walking, cycling and transit) as a group rather than the promotion
of public transport alone, drawing from travel behaviour and social
marketing theory. It then examines the process and results from the
Individualised Marketing (IndiMark) travel behaviour change technique
within the context of promoting an alternative to car dependence.
Originally presented at the UITP International Marketing Conference
(Paris), International Association of Public Transport (www.uitp.com),
"Transit Price Elasticities and Cross-Elasticities"
This paper summarizes price elasticities and cross elasticities for use in
public transit planning and modeling. It finds that commonly-used transit
elasticity values tend to be lower than appropriate for long-run impact
analysis. 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, and understate
the long-term negative impacts that fare increases and service cuts can
have on transit ridership, transit revenue, traffic congestion and
"World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention,"
the World Health Organization, released April 7 for the World Health Day on
Road Safety. This report includes information on traffic injury and
fatality rates in various parts of the world, plus practical strategies for
increasing road safety. For more information see the WHD website
http://www.who.int/world-health-day/2004/en. Todd Litman contributed to
Chapter 4, which discusses potential policy interventions, particularly the
role of mobility management strategies for increasing safety. For more
information on this issue see "If Health Matters"
(http://www.vtpi.org/health.pdf) and "Safety Evaluation,"
Lucas, Karen (ed), "Transport & Social Exclusion: A Survey of the Group of
Seven Nations," Transport Studies Group, University of Westminster, Funded
by the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society
This includes research by VTPI concerning transportation and social
exclusion in Canada.
'Economic Value of Walkability,' was published in "World Transport Policy &
Practice," (http://www.eco-logica.co.uk/WTPPhome.html) Volume 10, Number 1,
"Sustainable Transportation: A Sourcebook for Policy-Makers in Developing
Countries," by the Sustainable Urban Transport Project Asia
(http://www.sutp.org/docs/sourcebook/sourcebook.aspx). Many of these
documents are now available in various languages including Spanish, French,
Chinese, Indonesian, Romanian, Thai and Vietnamese
(http://www.sutp.org/docs/sourcebook/translations.aspx). The "Mobility
Management" module, written by Todd Litman, is available at the VTPI
BEEN THERE - DONE THAT
In recent months we have participated in several exciting events:
'Congestion Management Best Practices,' for the Washington DC Downtown
Congestion Management Task Force, Washington DC (www.dc.gov), 6 May 2004.
'Pay-As-You-Drive Pricing For Insurance Affordability,' at the "Casualty
Actuarial Society Spring Meeting" (www.casact.org), Colorado Springs, 17
'London Congestion Pricing: Implications for Other Cities,' at the
"Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting" (www.trb.org), 13 January 2004.
'Emerging Research Issues in Nonmotorized Transport,' at the
"Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting" (www.trb.org), 14 January 2004.
'Vehicle Use Pricing: Reforms For Efficiency,' at the "Transportation
Research Board Value Pricing Workshop" (www.trb.org), 11 January 2004.
"Shifting Gears: Sustainable Mobility for Western Municipalities,
Hotel, Edmonton, Alberta June 16-17, 2004.
This conference will explore practical ways that western Canadian
municipalities can address transportation problems and improve mobility
through management innovations and emerging technologies. Todd Litman will
give a presentation on 'Win-Win Transportation Solutions.'
National Wellness Conference, (http://www.nationalwellness.org), July
10-15, University of Wisconsin, sponsored by the National Wellness Institute.
This 29th Annual National Wellness Conference has the theme of 'Creating
Optimal Wellness Environments.' It will explore best practices for
community wellness and underserved populations. Todd Litman will give a
presentation on 'Healthy Community Planning: Integrating Public Health
Objectives Into Transportation and Land Use Planning.'
Pro Walk - Pro Bike (http://www.bikewalk.org), September 7 10, 2004,
Victoria, British Columbia.
Pro Walk - Pro Bike is a major bi-annual international walking and cycling
conference to be held in our home town, Victoria, BC. The theme is
'Creating Active Communities,' which will explore the link between
community design and health. Todd Litman will give a presentation on the
'Economic Value of Walkability.'
Phil L. Winters and Sara J. Hendricks, "Quantifying The Business Benefits
of TDM," Center for Urban Transportation Research, for the Office of
Research and Special Programs, USDOT
Lloyd Wright, "Mass Transit Options, "
(http://www.gobrt.org/SourcebookMassTransitOptions.pdf) and "Bus Rapid
Transit" (http://www.gobrt.org/SourcebookBRT.pdf), modules in the
"Sustainable Transport: A Sourcebook for Policy-makers in Developing Cities."
Peter L Jacobsen, 'Safety in numbers: more walkers and bicyclists, safer
walking and bicycling,' "Injury Prevention"
(http://ip.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/3/205), Vol. 9, 2003, pp.
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