|Ph.D Student||Tzipi Eshet|
|Subject||Economic Valuation of Externalities Related to Solid|
Waste Management: Testing and Applying the Benefit
|Department||Department of Agricultural Engineering||Supervisors||Dr. Baron Mira|
|Full Professor Mordechai Shechter|
|Full Thesis text|
A transportation system provides the means for spatial interactions among many elements and users in the region. It is of great importance to have an integrated plan of the regional activities and the associated transportation system.
In simple terms, congestion is related to traffic volumes which result from cars driving to the same destinations at the same time. Considering some of the basic factors that are responsible for the transportation demand, it becomes clear that a sustained trend for growing demand in the near future, both for passengers and freight transportation, may be anticipated. The resulting traffic congestion causes serious economic and environmental damages that affect badly society welfare.
The problem in Israel is critical since the limited land resources restrict the potential to expand the road infrastructure. This unique situation implies that other solutions to reduce congestion rather than expansion of roads infrastructure, must be suggested.
Congestion is created when the demand for transportation exceeds the road capacity and when travel time grows beyond the existing average time of low demand. Every driver who joins the road delays all other drivers on it. When the road is "free", the drivers create costs that are not paid by them and so, they deem it necessary to reduce their trips.
The approach that deals with congestion primarily through the supply side has been recently replaced by the "demand management". The necessity for intervention policy and demand management measures seems to be inevitable because of the rapid growth of negative externalities caused by urban transport (such as delays, air pollution, noise etc.) since these externalities inhibit the free market from reaching an optimal equilibrium.
One of the main intervention policy tools is the concept of charging congestion tolls which results from the general principle that travelers should weigh the full social costs against the benefits of taking an additional trip. Thus, the optimal toll should be equal to the difference between the marginal social cost and the marginal private cost. A differential toll that varies smoothly during day time, associates with congestion levels, will be more efficient than a uniform peak toll.
Charging reduced tolls at all the alternative parallel roads will prove more efficient than charging a high toll at a single main road. A proper estimation of the sensitivity of travel demand to travel costs (demand elasticity) can facilitate the prediction of the level of the optimal toll.
Cars occupy space when mobile and even more so when parked. Therefore parking toll appear to be another important measure of demand management. The principle involved is to set rates which will generate an equilibrium between parking demand and supply. It is possible to impose differential tolls depending on peak hours and duration of stay.
There are several other short term and long term measures of demand management that intend to modify travelers approach to existing transportation networks and their behavior regarding work and residence patterns.
The understanding of the "willingness to pay" for different transportation facilities is best obtained by applying disaggregative models of discrete choice in which the individual is led to choose among alternatives. The Utility Theory assumes that the user will choose the transportation facility according to lowest perceived private cost.
In summary, controlling the traffic congestion is intended to be a primary goal of transportation management policy. Using the funds of the variety of tolls for the transportation improvement (especially the public transportation) is an superior goal and, furthermore, it is a concept that would be more politically agreeable.