Articles written in Sadhana
Volume 32 Issue 4 August 2007 pp 309-328
Trafﬁc on Indian roads (both urban and inter-urban) consists of a variety of vehicles. These vehicles have widely different static and dynamic characteristics. The trafﬁc is also very different from homogeneous trafﬁc which primarily consists of motorized vehicles. Homogeneous trafﬁc follows strict lane discipline as compared to non-homogeneous trafﬁc. Western trafﬁc planning methodologies mostly address the concerns of homogeneous trafﬁc and therefore often prove inadequate in solving problems involving non-homogeneous trafﬁc conditions as found in Indian cities. This paper presents studies conducted on non-homogeneous trafﬁc. Section 1 presents a methodology to verify the continuity equation, the basic block of any trafﬁc planning analysis. In § 2, the methodology developed is applied to modify the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) 2000 density method to derive passengercar equivalencies (PCEs) or units (PCUs) for heavy vehicles and recreational vehicles. These PCUs appear as ‘ET’ and ‘ER’ in HCM tables. The density method assumes motorized, four-wheeler trafﬁc, i.e., homogeneous traffic, and does not include motorized three-wheelers, motorized two-wheelers, and non-motorized trafﬁc often present on Indian highways. By modifying the density method to represent non-homogeneous trafﬁc, which includes signiﬁcant percentages of motorized, three-wheelers, motorized two-wheelers, and non-motorized trafﬁc entities, one can derive more accurate passenger car units for Indian conditions. Transport professionals can use these PCU values for accurate capacity, safety, and operational analysis of highways carrying non-homogeneous trafﬁc.
Volume 32 Issue 4 August 2007 pp 329-345
Urban transport has serious problems that are symptoms of the general process of rapid urbanization and environmental degradation. Policymakers in general and urban economists in particular have paid little attention to public transport system pricing leading to the absence of a ﬁnancially viable, self-supporting urban transport system.
In this paper, we report a partial equilibrium model developed by us, which captures transport tax reforms in the presence of certain transport externalities. Our theoretical model shows that the question of public transport subsidies to reduce congestion and provide quality transport services depends on three factors:
the extent to which such subsidies induce people to switch from private transport to public transport;
if the price elasticity of current users of public transport is higher, there may be a sharp rise in public transport ridership as a reaction to increased subsidies, which will have an undesirable effect; and
there is the danger that subsidies will cause a loss in productive efﬁciency.
The numerical model of our paper for Delhi shows that the cross price elasticity of public transport demand with respect to the price of private transport is signiﬁcant (0·63) in the off-peak period whereas the same in the peak period is somewhat low (0·16) and the combined effect of these elasticities will result in a considerable modal shift in favour of bus transport demand (19%) if the price of public transport were to be subsidized and private transport were to be priced optimally. Even without subsidy, the modal shift will be signiﬁcant (18%), if the under-priced private transport modes are optimally priced keeping the current bus prices constant. This paper shows that there will be signiﬁcant welfare gains in both these scenarios.