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Fare deal or essential service: what cuts congestion and emissions most?

Auckland Council Chief Economist, Shane Martin, Shyamal Maharaj, Auckland Forecasting Centre
Auckland Council Chief Economist,
Publication date:  

  • Public transport (PT) moves people with fewer emissions and less congestion than Auckland’s privately-owned mostly internal-combustion fleet.
  • Working with the Auckland Forecasting Centre, we tested the impact on congestion and emissions of some of the weightier proposals to boost PT use, including large service upgrades and providing free PT.
  • Free PT and the modelled service improvements have a similar impact on PT use but different impacts on emissions and congestion.
  • Making PT free, but holding the network constant, reduces car trips and emissions.
  • Just expanding the PT network has no net emissions gains according to the model.
  • The costs of either approach, or a combination, is large relative to the emissions benefits.
  • This is why the benefits from reduced congestion, other environmental outcomes, supporting equity, and creating access and choice are central co-benefits in the case for more investment in PT. ...

April 2020