It is recognized that hard factors such as travel time, cost, availability of public transport services, and car ownership have a major impact when people consider the choice between using an automobile or public transport. Nevertheless, there is evidence from the literature that rail-based public transport often is considered superior to bus systems, even in cases where quantitative hard factors are equal. This attraction of passengers is known as a psychological rail factor, and it is used to express a higher attraction in terms of higher ridership of rail-based public transport in contrast to bus services (Axhausen et al. 2001; Megel 2001b; Ben-Akiva and Morikawa 2002; Vuchic 2005; Scherer 2010a). The existence of this rail factor is widely accepted among experts, but little evidence exists about the reasons for this phenomena.
The idea of a rail factor is consistent with statements that the image of a transport system has an impact on demand. Furthermore, research…
The topic of barrier-free access is of great importance in Dresden. Dresden has a population of over 508,000 inhabitants, more than 60,000 of whom have a disability. Demographic changes and an increase in the number of older people mean the number of people with disabilities continues to increase.
When the first edition of Cities of Opportunity was developed, we made a decision to rank cities only in their 10 indicator categories and to forego showing overall rankings to avoid the misperception of a contest. That risk seemed especially significant in 2007, when the media cast New York and London in a death match for global capital market kingship.
This article examines changes in transport and land-use policies in Germany over the last 40 years that have encouraged more walking, bicycling and public transport use. It focuses on a case study of policy changes in the city of Freiburg, where over the last three decades, the number of bicycle trips tripled, public transport ridership doubled, and the share of trips by automobile declined from 38% to 32%. Since 1990, motorization rates have leveled-off and per-capita CO2 emissions from transport have fallen—despite strong economic growth. The analysis identifies policies that are transferable to car-oriented countries around the world.
With the rise of New Economic Geography (NEG) the spatial dimension in economic thinking has celebrated an impressive comeback during the recent decades.1 Not least, the Nobel Prize being awarded to Paul Krugman in 2008 highlights how widely the importance of a deeper understanding of regional economic disparities has been acknowledged among economists. One of the fundamental outcomes of NEG models is that accessibility to regional markets promotes regional economic development due to the interaction of agglomerations forces, economies of scales and transportation costs.
Recent empirical research confirms that there is a positive relationship between regions’ centrality with respect to other regions and their economic wealth (e.g. HANSON, 2005) and that there is evidence for a causal importance of access to regional markets for the economic prosperity of regions (REDDING & STURM, 2008). From these findings, a direct economic policy dimension emerges.
Over the past two decades, Germany has improved the quality of its public transport services and attracted more passengers while increasing productivity, reducing costs, and cutting subsidies. Public transport systems reduced their costs through organizational restructuring and outsourcing to newly founded subsidiaries; cutting employee benefits and freezing salaries; increasing work hours, using part-time employees, expanding job tasks, and encouraging retirement of older employees; cooperation with other agencies to share employees, vehicles, and facilities; cutting underutilized routes and services; and buying new vehicles with lower maintenance costs and greater passenger capacity per driver. Revenues were increased through fare hikes for single tickets while maintaining deep discounts for monthly, semester, and annual tickets; and raising passenger volumes by improved quality of service, and full regional coordination of timetables, fares, and services. Those efforts by…
Network concepts have received a great deal of attention in spatial economics in recent decades. Examples are the well-known ideas of the network economy (Shapiro and Varian 1999) and the knowledge economy (Cooke 2001). Networks are based on the existence of interactions (which may occur on multiple levels) between agents operating in a network, giving rise to synergistic effects. The effects of these interactions are oĕen investigated and modeled by considering, amongst other things, network externalities or spillover effects (Yilmaz et al. 2002). The labor market literature is no exception to this trend: spatial job matching processes have been widely studied in a social network framework (Montgomery 1991), while work-induced mobility (commuting) has been investigated in both an urban and a regional network context (e.g. Russo etal. 2007; ăorsen etal. 1999; Van Nuffel and Saey 2005).
The directionality of commuting Ĕows has clear implications for urban form and for…
It is often suggested that the United States adopt policies similar to those of European countries to increase public transportation ridership and sustainability of the transport system. On the basis of two national travel surveys, socioeconomic and geographic characteristics of public transportation riders in Germany and the United States are compared, and the differences in public transportation policies in the two countries are analyzed. Dissimilar policies can help account for variability in ridership not explained by socioeconomic and geographic differences. In both countries, public transportation ridership increases with population density and metropolitan area size and decreases with rising income, car ownership, and household distance from a public transportation stop. However, supported by better policies, German public transportation systems can attract more riders from all groups of society. For example, Germans living in households with more cars than…