International Transport Forum Discussion Papers

What Does Improved Fuel Economy Cost Consumers and What Does it Cost Taxpayers?
2223-439X (online)
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The International Transport Forum at the OECD is an intergovernmental organisation with 52 member countries. It acts as a strategic think tank for transport policy and organizes an annual summit of ministers. Our work is underpinned by economic research, statistics collection and policy analysis, often undertaken in collaboration with many of the world's leading research figures in academia, business and government. This series of Discussion Papers is intended to disseminate the ITF’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned.
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Mark Number Date TitleClick to Access
  N° 2011/16   01 May 2011 Click to Access:  What Does Improved Fuel Economy Cost Consumers and What Does it Cost Taxpayers?
Kurt van Dender, Philippe Crist
"Green growth" is an emerging paradigm that integrates several policy aspirations, including the durability of economic activity, reduced environmental impacts, and sustained growth in high-quality employment in such a way as to foster coherent, cross-sectoral policy design. Focusing on "green...
  N° 2013/01   01 Feb 2013 Click to Access:  Upgrading to World Class
Jeffrey M. Zupan
This paper is intended to serve three purposes. First, it presents a slightly abbreviated version of the summary of the book published by Regional Plan Association (RPA) in January 2011 about the serious capacity and delay problems at the three major airports in New York and what might be done...
  N° 2011/28   29 Nov 2011 Click to Access:  The ‘Grand Paris' Project: Tools and Challenges
André de Palma
The purpose of this Round Table is to assess the economic effects of major transport infrastructure projects. The term "major projects" is used to designate qualitative leaps, be it the mapping out of new road or rail rings to link disparate radial penetration routes or the introduction of...
  N° 2013/14   28 May 2013 Click to Access:  The Potential of Private Institutional Investors for Financing Transport Infrastructure
Rajiv Sharma
It is widely held that large institutional investors such as pension funds and sovereign wealth funds with long term liabilities and a low risk appetite are ideally suited to invest in transportation infrastructure assets. Despite the theoretical ideal match between a large source of capital...
  N° 2012/06   26 Oct 2012 Click to Access:  The Fantasy World of Private Finance for Transport via Public Private Partnerships
Jean Shaoul, Anne Stafford, Pam Stapleton
In 1993, the British government turned to the private sector to finance much needed investment in public infrastructure and manage services under its Public Private Partnerships (PPP) policy (Edwards et al., 2004), with transport forming by far the largest component by value of the PPP programme...
  N° 2011/27   24 Nov 2011 Click to Access:  The Evolution of London's Crossrail Scheme and the Development of the Department for Transport's Economic Appraisal Methods
Tom Worsley
Cost benefit analysis has been used in the United Kingdom for the appraisal of road schemes over the past fifty years. It was less widely used for rail, where most investment was concerned with renewing the existing network. The Central London Rail Study (1988) used cost benefit analysis to...
  N° 2011/17   01 May 2011 Click to Access:  State Roles in Providing Affordable Mass Transport Services for Low-Income Residents
Robert Cervero
Governments support urban mass transport services worldwide under the guise of helping the poor and improving the environment. With more and more governments cash-strapped and facing budgetary shortfalls in other vital areas, the fiscal burdens of underwriting public transport have prompted...
  N° 2012/02   27 Apr 2012 Click to Access:  Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles
Trevor Morgan
Electric vehicles (EVs) could play a central role in decarbonising road transport. But this new type of electricity load will need careful management. Although electricity needs for EVs are likely to remain small relative to overall load in most regions for many years to come, they could have a...
  N° 2012/05   14 May 2012 Click to Access:  Seamless Transport Policy
Stephen Perkins
This paper briefly discusses inter-modal coordination of transport services from a perspective of what could be called "diversity-based mobility policy". It examines the framework conditions for inter-modal competition and coordination under an approach to transport policy making that reflects...
  N° 2011/25   20 Sep 2011 Click to Access:  Road Safety and Insurance Markets Overview
Andrew Fronsko
Road trauma is the biggest killer of young people in the world. Reductions in the incidence and severity of road related trauma is of paramount importance to society, aimed at reducing the personal and economic burden to injured people and flow-on impact to families and the broader community...
  N° 2011/24   20 Sep 2011 Click to Access:  Road Safety
Samantha Cockfield
The Transport Accident Commission of Victoria (TAC) was established, and is governed by, the Transport Accident Act 1986. The TAC administers a comprehensive no-fault compensation scheme for Victorians who are injured or die as a result of a transport accident. The Act also provides the TAC...
  N° 2013/08   01 Apr 2013 Click to Access:  Road Haulage Charges and Taxes
Bertil Hylén, Jari Kauppila, Edouard Chong
The International Transport Forum at the OECD has collected data on various taxes and charges levied on road haulage since 1998. The existing International Transport Forum database presents these results for selected years between 1998 and 2008. These data allow for comparison of road freight...
  N° 2013/09   01 Apr 2013 Click to Access:  Recent Trends in Car Usage in Advanced Economies – Slower Growth Ahead?
Kurt van Dender, Martin Clever
Over the past 10 to 15 years, the growth of passenger vehicle travel volumes has decelerated in several high-income economies and, in some, growth has stopped or turned negative. Drawing from work presented to and discussions at the ITF Roundtable on long-run trends in travel demand, held in...
  N° 2013/12   07 May 2013 Click to Access:  Railway Efficiency
Arne Beck, Heiner Bente, Martin Schilling
Railway efficiency is a topic of interest worldwide for railway managers operating in competitive markets and for fiscally strained governments. Several recent studies indicate that European railways differ in terms of their efficiency. Based on a comparison with some major non-European railway...
  N° 2013/11   01 Apr 2013 Click to Access:  Public Private Partnership in National Highways
Gajendra Haldea
India’s road network of over 4.1 million km is second largest in the world consisting of expressways, national highways, state highways, major district roads and other roads. These roads carry about 65 per cent of freight and 80 per cent of passenger traffic. National highways constitute only...
  N° 2011/20   01 May 2011 Click to Access:  Public Acceptability of Sustainable Transport Measures
Alison Pridmore, Apollonia Miola
Increasingly, the debate on transport policy involves the challenge of sustainable development. The concept of sustainable transport is derived from the general term of sustainable development. Sustainable transportation can be considered by examining the sustainability of the transport system...
  N° 2012/11   23 Oct 2012 Click to Access:  Procurement and Contract Design in the Construction Industry
Jan-Eric Nilsson
This paper considers the choice between different approaches to contract for the construction and maintenance of infrastructure projects. The need to control for user costs over the life cycle of an asset is demonstrated to be a core aspect of contract design. The more likely it is that a...
  N° 2011/06   01 May 2011 Click to Access:  Perspectives from Mexico to Achieve More with Less
Adriana Lobo
The discussion presented below focuses on improving the decision-making process as the true challenge of mobility we face. It proposes a way of thinking about some of the key topics within each of the layers involved in decision-making at the strategic level, including attributes of the...
  N° 2012/10   12 Oct 2012 Click to Access:  Performance Measurement in the Road Sector
Matthew Karlaftis, Konstantinos Kepaptsoglou
Road networks are important lifelines for modern societies. Social prosperity and economic development are directly related to mobility and accessibility of communities and are, therefore, highly dependent upon the existence of high quality road networks. Currently, roadways are the dominant...
  N° 2012/13   04 Dec 2012 Click to Access:  Peak Travel, Peak Car and the Future of Mobility
Phil Goodwin
In many advanced economies, car use per head, and sometimes total car traffic, has shown low growth. In some countries (and especially cities) it has declined. In a few countries, there have been similar studies of the distance travelled by all modes added together, which has shown a similar...
  N° 2011/23   26 Oct 2011 Click to Access:  Pay-as-you-Drive Vehicle Insurance as a Tool to Reduce Crash Risk
Jan Willem Bolderdijk, Linda Steg
In this paper, we provide an extensive summary of a field experiment we have recently conducted on the behavioural effects of pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) vehicle insurance (Bolderdijk et al., 2011a). We start with a review of the rationale for PAYD schemes from a behavioural science perspective....
  N° 2012/12   23 Oct 2012 Click to Access:  Optimising Road Maintenance
Mark O. Harvey
Mathematical optimisation models, supported by suitable data, can assist decision making about allocating funds between alternative maintenance tasks and about the size of the maintenance budget. The maintenance optimisation problem is, in essence, to find the optimum balance between the costs...
  N° 2013/18   19 Sep 2013 Click to Access:  On the Value of Crowding in Public Tansport for Ile-de-France
Eric Kroes, Marco Kouwenhoven, Laurence Debrincat, Nicolas Pauget
Since the mid 90’s, public transport patronage in Île-de-France (the Paris region) has increased substantially: over the last decade alone a 20% growth was observed. This growth, even though it was an aim of the Sustainable Urban Mobility plan adopted in 2000, was not completely anticipated....
  N° 2012/15   04 Dec 2012 Click to Access:  New Drivers in Mobility
Jan van der Waard, Ben Immers, Peter Jorritsma
In early 2011, the Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis performed a mobility analysis, focussing on recent trends. This analysis showed that, following the remarkable growth in the 1980s and 1990s, the total national mobility of people in the Netherlands has not increased since...
  N° 2011/05   01 Apr 2011 Click to Access:  Mobility: Rights, Obligations and Equity in an Ageing Society
Ann Frye
Demographic trends worldwide indicate significant increases in the number of older people in the population in the coming years. There is a close link between age and disability, and the longer people live the more likely they are to become disabled to some degree. Disability takes many forms:...
  N° 2011/10   01 Apr 2011 Click to Access:  Meeting Society's Transport Needs under Tight Budgets
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, both the private and public sectors face stringent constraints in funding for transport infrastructure investment and transport services. At the same time, economic recession highlights the social value of public support for disadvantaged users of...
  N° 2013/16   18 Sep 2013 Click to Access:  Measuring and Valuing Convenience and Service Quality
Richard Anderson, Benjamin Condry, Nicholas Findlay, Ruben Brage-Ardao, Haojie Li
Origin-destination demand, trip patterns, pricing and transport networks alone cannot explain passenger demand for public transport modes. Other factors of convenience and service quality play a key role in influencing demand and mode choice but they are often more complex and harder to define,...
  N° 2012/04   11 May 2012 Click to Access:  Measurement of National-Level Logistics Costs and Performance
Karri Rantasila, Lauri Ojala
It is necessary to understand logistics performance at the country level in order to better evaluate and target Trade and Transport Facilitation (TTF) policy efforts over time and across countries. Lower costs for logistics reduce the cost of delivering products, thereby encouraging sales,...
  N° 2011/29   01 Apr 2011 Click to Access:  Maintained Hypotheses and Questions in Search of Answers
Marc Gaudry, Emile Quinet
We propose a series of kick-off points related to the economic appraisal of large urban infrastructure projects, taking some account of the specifics raised by the Grand Paris Express (GPE) regional automatic metro. The points, in the form of Maintained Hypotheses or Questions in Need of...
  N° 2011/18   01 May 2011 Click to Access:  Key Mobility Challenges in Indian Cities
Geetam Tiwari
The existing modal share in Indian cities is in favor of Non-motorized transport (NMT) and public transport. However given the hostile conditions for public transport and increasing risk to pedestrians and cyclists, the use of personal motorized vehicle is increasing. This trend is accompanied...
  N° 2013/10   01 May 2013 Click to Access:  Internalisation of External Effects in European Freight Corridors
Anna Mellin, Asa Wikberg, Inge Vierth, Rune Karlsson
External effects or externalities "consist of the costs and benefits felt beyond or ‘external to’ those causing the effect" (Anderson, 2006). In the case of transportation, the negative externalities (costs) can take the form of air pollution, noise and accidents. Since external effects do not...
  N° 2012/01   23 Apr 2012 Click to Access:  Integration for Seamless Transport
John Preston
The concept of integrated and seamless transport has wide political support but framing effective policies that deliver the desired outcome has proved difficult. This paper builds on and updates earlier work by the author that attempted to analyse the reasons for the relative failure of...
  N° 2011/01   01 Jan 2011 Click to Access:  Improving the Practice of Cost Benefit Analysis in Transport
Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is widely recognized to be helpful, even indispensible, for making good decisions on what transport projects to fund. It essentially aims to figure out which projects offer the best value for money, one of the core criteria for making decisions. However, the...
  N° 2011/14   01 May 2011 Click to Access:  Implementing Sustainable Urban Travel Policies in Mexico
Víctor Islas Rivera, Salvador Hernández G., José A. Arroyo Osorno, Martha Lelis Zaragoza, J. Ignacio Ruvalcaba
This report describes the main challenges to urban travel in Mexico. We focus on some of the basic causes of urban transport problems, and we analyze some urban travel policies that could be considered good practices towards sustainable urban development. Mexico City is the emblematic case.
  N° 2011/12   01 May 2011 Click to Access:  Implementing Sustainable Urban Travel Policies in China
Haixiao Pan
Urban transport will have a great impact on sustainable development. China is now the leading producer of motorized vehicles, and people have gradually realized that we cannot sustain endless motorization. China has adopted a sustainable development policy for many years, promoting public...
  N° 2012/14   31 Dec 2012 Click to Access:  Have Americans Hit Peak Travel?
Robert Puentes
American driving habits are changing. After decades of steady increases in the amount of driving, the number of vehicles, and the extent of licensed drivers, there now appears to be a shift. The growth is clearly leveling off, and dropping on a per capita basis, even at a time when a vast array...
  N° 2011/02   01 Feb 2011 Click to Access:  Green Growth and Transport
Stephen Perkins
Transport figures prominently on green growth agendas. The reason is twofold. First, transport has major environmental impacts in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, local air emissions and noise. And managing congestion more effectively is part of the broader agenda for more sustainable...
  N° 2011/11   01 Apr 2011 Click to Access:  Gender and Transport
Chantal Duchene
While greater account is increasingly being taken of gender in a variety of areas, little progress has been made in this respect in the transport sector. In both developed and developing countries, our societies are gendered in that women and men play different roles, notably because household...
  N° 2013/04   01 Mar 2013 Click to Access:  Expanding Airport Capacity Under Constraints in Large Urban Areas
Hans-Martin Niemeier
Expanding airports is a topic which can easily make it to the first page of the national press. But this is highly unlikely as "bad news" is "good news" and most often failures and scandals make it to the front page. Berlin airport or the on-going failure to open up a nearly-complete new...
  N° 2013/03   01 Feb 2013 Click to Access:  Evolution of Metropolitan Airports in Japan
Katsuhiro Yamaguchi
If one is asked to give an appraisal of airport development in metropolitan areas in Japan, an unsparing critic may not esteem it highly for three reasons. One, because planning for the secondary airport at Tokyo and Osaka was initiated too late to match growth in demand. Two, due to untimely...
  N° 2011/19   01 May 2011 Click to Access:  Equitable Access: Remote and Rural Communities 'Transport Needs'
Peter White
Transport in rural and remote regions receives considerable attention in research, but this is often focussed on specific means of resolving problems in those regions – for example, the role of demand-responsive bus services, or scope for attracting users to rail services. The aim of this paper...
  N° 2012/03   23 Apr 2012 Click to Access:  Electric Vehicles Revisited
Philippe Crist
This paper compares the lifetime costs of like internal combustion and battery electric vehicle pairs on the market in France and finds that relative costs of electric vehicles remain elevated for consumers and even more so for society under current conditions and typical use scenarios. It also...
  N° 2011/09   01 Apr 2011 Click to Access:  Economic Perspectives on Transport And Equality
David Lewis
Poverty, inequality and social exclusion are closely tied to personal mobility and the accessibility of goods and services. Evidence of the economic role of transport in promoting better living standards and greater wellbeing can be seen in the effects of both overall public investment in...
  N° 2011/04   01 Apr 2011 Click to Access:  Cart or Horse: Transport and Economic Growth
Tim Leunig
This paper argues that transport is more cart than horse, in that transport improvements are not the most important driver of economic growth for most countries. Nevertheless there are circumstances in which transport is particularly important. Big transport breakthroughs – such as replacing...
  N° 2013/07   01 Apr 2013 Click to Access:  Budgeting and Reporting for Public-Private Partnerships
Katja Funke, Tim Irwin, Isabel Rial
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can appeal to governments because they offer a new way of providing public services that is possibly more efficient than traditional public finance. But they can also appeal to governments because they allow new investments to be undertaken without any...
  N° 2013/06   01 Apr 2013 Click to Access:  Better Regulation of Public-Private Partnerships for Transport Infrastructure
Stephen Perkins
This report is based on discussions at an International Transport Forum Roundtable convened in September 2012 to review experience with the regulation of public private partnerships (PPPs) in the transport sector. Conclusions from the debate are developed with reference to the literature,...
  N° 2011/03   01 Apr 2011 Click to Access:  Better Economic Regulation
Good transport services contribute strongly to the productivity of an economy and extend the range of activities accessible to consumers. Good services require adequate infrastructure and reasonable usage conditions to that infrastructure. Much transport infrastructure is capital intensive and...
  N° 2013/13   01 May 2013 Click to Access:  Asset Management for Sustainable Road Funding
Philippe Crist, Jari Kauppila, José Vassallo, Butch Wlaschin
This paper lays out a framework for managing complex asset systems, such as road networks, with a view to optimising life-cycle value of the asset base. It is based on discussions at the International transport Forum Roundtable on Sustainable Road Funding held in Paris 25-26 October 20121 and...
  N° 2012/16   04 Dec 2012 Click to Access:  Are we Heading Towards a Reversal of the Trend for Ever-Greater Mobility?
Jean-Loup Madre, Yves D. Bussière, Roger Collet, Irving Tapia Villareal
In most industrialised countries, it can be seen that urban mobility and car traffic have stagnated since the early 2000s. In France, the report on traffic conducted by the National Transport Accounts Commission shows a similar break in the trend, which was confirmed by household travel surveys...
  N° 2012/07   09 Oct 2012 Click to Access:  Alternative Ways of Financing Infrastructure Investment
Andrew Meaney, Peter Hope
This paper examines the issue of financing infrastructure investment projects. It looks closely at what the market failures are that mean the private sector has not been able to cover the investment requirement itself. It will then assess the government failures associated with intervention,...
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