Guide to Calculating Mobility Management Benefits Victoria Transport Policy Institute
Direct Consumer Impacts
Alternative work schedules Parking cash out Security improvements New Urbanism Park & Ride facilities Pay-As-You-Drive pricing Ridesharing Telework Transit Improvements
Access Management Carfree Planning Comprehensive market reforms HOV priority Parking management Smart growth Traffic calming
Fuel tax increases Parking pricing Road pricing Vehicle use restrictions
Walking and cycling improvements
Most mobility management strategies provide positive incentives: they improve transport options or reward reduced driving. Motorists who continue their current travel patterns are no worse off, and those who reduce their mileage must be directly better off or they will not change their travel patterns. In addition, most consumers benefit from reduced traffic congestion, accidents, and pollution emissions, road and parking cost savings, and additional pricing revenues.
Critics sometimes argue that mobility management is an unjustified market intervention that reduces economic efficiency. This assumes that current markets are optimal, but existing transport and land use markets are distorted in various ways that result in economically excessive vehicle travel. Many mobility management strategies correct these distortions, increasing overall economic efficiency (Litman, 2007).
Critics sometimes claim that mobility management is unfair and regressive because some strategies (such as road and parking pricing) increase driving costs. However, the current transport system is unfair and regressive because it reduces accessibility options for non- drivers and financially burdens lower-income households. Many mobility management strategies improve accessibility options directly (for example, improving walk and cycling conditions, ridesharing and public transit services, and affordable housing locations), and indirectly by increasing public support for alternative modes (for example, by increasing ridesharing and transit demand among middle-class people, leading to more frequent service and higher social status for users). Some mobility management strategies provide financial benefits such as parking cash out.
The overall equity and regressivity of pricing strategies also depends on how revenues are used. If revenues are used to improve transportation services for disadvantaged populations or to reduce other taxes and fees, they can be progressive overall. It is therefore wrong to assume that travel reduction strategies are necessarily inequitable. Mobility management programs can be designed to support equity objectives.
This is not to suggest that mobility management is always optimal, but it does indicate that mobility management is often cost effective and justified, particularly if implemented as an integrated program based on efficient market and planning principles, designed to maximize benefits and address planning objectives (“Win-Win Solutions,” VTPI, 2006).