Policy Implications of Comparative Economic, Environmental and Social Costs in Madrid

Policy Implications of Comparative Economic, Environmental and Social Costs in Madrid


A Monzón, L A Vega, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, ES



A recent research work developed in Madrid has defined the following costs in monetary terms:

* maintenance and consumption and other economic costs
* travel time
* accidents
* air pollution (including mortality and morbility costs)
* global warming
* noise
* infrastructures for each means of transportation currently running in the Madrid Metropolitan Area:
- metro
- suburban rail
- urban buses
- suburban buses
- private car
- taxi

The results show first the different composition of costs in each of them. For example, metro and bus support very high travel time costs, while cars have the highest percentage of economic costs. Similarly infrastructure costs are more important in rail modes. This allows to extract a number of important consequences for policy implementation.

The calculation of costs per passenger-km and vehicle-km provides also a good basis for designing future policies and judging the goodness of the present ones. These results support actions like environmental taxes for cars, road pricing, investments in metro network, improvements in bus facilities, among others. All of them would improve equity and among modes and between core-central and suburban Areas. From these figures could be calculated the social rate for a possible road pricing policy, or how much taxes had to be incorporated to car, buses or taxis, etc.

Travel time cost appears as the key element to provide equity among means of transport in terms of social costs. Therefore a number of actions could be envisage on this basis. Pollution and noise levels are clearly dependent on car usage; therefore measures to control them are clearly justified for the shake of social equity. On the contrary, the contribution of low pollutant buses appears to be rather insignificant on total social costs.


Association for European Transport