Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/107885
Authors: 
Adler, Martin W.
van Ommeren, Jos N.
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 15-011/VIII
Abstract: 
One of the main unanswered questions in the field of urban economics is to which extent subsidies to public transit are justified. We examine one of the main benefits of public transit, a reduction in car congestion externalities, the so-called congestion relief benefit, using quasi-natural experimental data on citywide public transit strikes for Rotterdam. On weekdays, a strike induces car speed to decrease only marginally on the highway ring road (by 3 percent) but substantially on inner city roads (by 10 percent). During rush hour, the strike effect is much more pronounced. The congestion relief benefit is substantial, equivalent to about half of the public transit subsidy. We demonstrate that during weekends, car speed does not change noticeable due to strikes. Further, we show that public transit strikes induce similar increases in number of cyclists as number of car travelers suggesting that bicycling-promoting policies to reduce car congestion externalities might be attractive.
Subjects: 
transit subsidies
public transit
traffic congestion
congestion relief benefit
strike
JEL: 
H76
J52
L92
R41
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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