363-1047-00L  Economics of Urban Transportation

SemesterAutumn Semester 2017
LecturersA. Russo
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

Catalogue data

AbstractThe first part of the course will present some basic principles of transportation economics, applied to the main issues in urban transport policy (e.g. road pricing, public transport tariffs, investment in infrastructure etc.). The second part of the course will consider some case studies where we will apply the tools acquired in the first part to actual policy issues.
ObjectiveThe main objective of this course is to provide students with some basic tools to analyze transport policy decisions from an economic perspective. Can economics help us reduce road congestion problems? Should drivers be asked to pay for using urban roads? Should public transport tariffs depend on how roads are priced? How should the investment in transport infrastructure be financed? These are some of the questions that students should be able to tackle after completing the course.
ContentCOURSE OUTLINE (preliminary):

1. Introduction
2. Travel demand :
a. travel cost and value of time
b. mode choice
3. Road congestion and first-best pricing
a. Static congestion model
b. Dynamic congestion models
c. Examples: London Congestion Charge, Stockholm Congestion Charge
4. Second-best pricing
a. Pricing roads with unpriced alternatives. Examples: tolled and toll-free highways
b. Public transport: pricing with road congestion and with (or without) road tolls
5. Investment in infrastructure: public transport and roads
a. Roads: Investment with and without pricing
b. induced demand
c. Economies of scale/density in public transport
6. Topics:
a. Political economy of road pricing: why do we see road pricing in so few cities (London, Stockholm...) and not in many other cities (NYC, Manchester, Paris...)?
b. What are the alternatives to road pricing to reduce congestion? Parking tariffs, traffic regulation (speed bumps, low emission zones), road space reduction. Examples: Zurich, San Francisco (SFPark), Paris.
c. Transport and land use: value of housing and transport services. Road congestion, transport subsidies and urban sprawl.
Lecture notesCourse slides will be made available to students prior to each class.
LiteratureSYLLABUS (preliminary):

course slides will be made available to students.

Additional material:

Part 1 to 5: textbook: Small and Verhoef (The economics of urban transportation, 2007).

Part 6: Topics to be covered on research papers/case studies.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersA. Russo
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationpresentation and project (5-6 pages)

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


363-1047-00 GEconomics of Urban Transportation2 hrs
Thu10-12CHN D 42 »
A. Russo


No information on groups available.


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Offered in

Civil Engineering MasterRecommended Electives of Master ProgrammeWInformation
Computer Science BachelorMinor CoursesWInformation
Management, Technology and Economics MasterAdditional Electives CoursesWInformation
Spatial Development and Infrastructure Systems MasterMajor in Transport Systems and BehaviourWInformation