For Immediate Release: 2 May 2005
For more information: Todd Litman <litman@...>.
The Victoria Transport Policy Institute has three timely new documents
posted on its website (http://www.vtpi.org).
1) "Efficient Vehicles Versus Efficient Transportation: Comparing
Transportation Energy Conservation Strategies," by Todd Litman
This paper compares four transportation energy conservation strategies
using a comprehensive evaluation framework that takes into account how each
strategy affects annual vehicle travel, and therefore mileage-related
impacts such as traffic congestion, road and parking facility costs and
crash risk. Mileage-related impacts tend to be large in magnitude compared
with energy conservation benefits, so even small changes in total vehicle
travel can have a large impact on net benefits. Fuel efficiency standards
and some alternative fuels cause vehicle travel to increase. Higher fuel
taxes cause a combination of increased vehicle fuel economy and reduced
mileage. Mobility management strategies cause relatively large mileage
reductions and so provide the greatest mileage-related benefits.
Conventional evaluation practices often overlook mileage-related impacts
and so tend to overvalue strategies that increase vehicle fuel efficiency
and undervalue mobility management strategies. Published recently in
"Transport Policy," Volume 12, Issue 2, March 2005, Pages 121-129,
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2) "Appropriate Response to Rising Fuel Prices," by Todd Litman
This paper evaluates public policy options for responding to rising fuel
prices. There is popular support for policies to minimize retail prices by
reducing fuel taxes or providing production subsidies. But
price-minimization policies are likely to harm consumers and the economy
overall by encouraging transportation system inefficiency. Fuel price
reductions are an inappropriate way to provide affordable mobility to
low-income households; other strategies can do more to increase
affordability while also increasing transport system efficiency. Because
many transportation decisions are durable, low fuel price policies will
increase future fuel import costs, imposing harming the future economy.
Rather than reducing fuel prices it would be better to allow prices to rise
and do everything possible to improve transport system efficiency. It is
difficult to image consumers demonstrating with signs that say, "Raise My
Fuel Prices!," but it actually makes sense.
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3) "Paying For Parking," by Gabriel Roth (http://www.vtpi.org/roth_parking.pdf)
This 1965 paper is an interesting and seminal document which outlines the
principles of efficient parking pricing and management. Many issues it
raises apply to other types of transport pricing reforms, such as
congestion pricing. Posted with author's permission (thanks Gabriel!).
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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. Please let
us know if you have comments or questions, or if you would like to be
removed from our mailing list. And please pass this information 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