Topic: 1.7 General

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Optimal Pricing of Urban Passenger transport: A Simulation Exercise for Belgium

First, a simple theoretical model is developed that determines optimal prices for private and urban transport services in both the peak and off-peak periods of the day, taking into account all relevant private and external costs. Second, the model is implemented to study pricing policies in Belgium, using recent estimates of private and social marginal costs. Several applications are then considered.

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Road Casualties in London in Relation to Public transport Policy

Exceptional changes in bus and underground rail fares in London in the early 1980s prompted analyses of the effects of fare levels and petrol prices upon the numbers of road casualties in London. Earlier estimates of the number of extra casualties associated with a period of unusually high fares in the early 1980s are shown to have probably been too high.

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Optimal Public transport Price and Service Frequency

Because values of time and passenger behaviour depend on the level of frequency it is found that: (1) in urban public transport there may be one low-deficit local optimum and one high-deficit local optimum, one of which is global; (2) contrary to what might be expected, optimal financial deficit per passenger is typically larger for high frequency services than for low-frequency services; (3) the optimal off-peak may exceed the optimal peak price.

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Public transport Demand Elasticities in Spain

From his study of elasticities the author concludes that patronage of public transport in Spanish cities could be increased by adjustment of the proportionate charges for cash fares and multiple-ride tickets, and by increasing fares to provide higher frequencies.

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Distributional and Public Finance Issues

In determining the level of subsidy, and its use in reducing fares or increasing frequencies, weight should be given to the comparative benefits accruing to different income groups. A local authority will be influenced in its decision by the proportion of the cost that is borne by central government.

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