Economically Optimal Transport Prices and Markets: What Would Happen if Best Practices Prevailed?

This paper investigates the amount and type of mobility (physical travel) that is economically optimal overall. It asks, “How would travel activity change if the transportation system reflected efficient market principles including neutral and responsive planning, and cost-based pricing.” It discusses these principles, identifies existing transport market distortions and reforms, estimates how such reforms would likely affect travel activity, and investigates their economic impacts. This analysis indicates that in a more optimal market, which reflects efficient planning and pricing principles, consumers would drive less, use alternative modes more, choose more accessible locations, and benefit overall as a result (increased consumer surplus). Because they reflect efficiency principles these reforms are also likely to increase economic productivity. Although previous studies have evaluated these transport market reforms individually, few have considered their cumulative impacts.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • © 2014 Todd Litman
  • Corporate Authors:

    Victoria Transport Policy Institute

    1250 Rudlin Street
    Victoria, British Columbia  Canada  V8V 3R7
  • Authors:
    • Litman, Todd
  • Publication Date: 2014-3-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01535800
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 3 2014 1:19PM