Assessing Sustainability of Transport Projects in Madrid

Assessing Sustainability of Transport Projects in Madrid


P Pfaffenbichler, M Mateos, A Monzon, P Viera, TRANSyT-UPM, ES


Madrid faces many transport problems and a rapid growth in its outskirts. A land use and transport interaction model is used to assess the effects of two projects, a metro line extension and a HOV-lane, against the objective of sustainability.


Sustainability is one of today's major challenges. A widely accepted definition of sustainability is based on intergenerational equity and a set of sub objectives. Numerous studies provide evidence that cities worldwide do not fulfil the requirements of sustainability. The work presented here investigates whether transport policies of the municipality of Madrid contribute to the high level objective of sustainability.

The ?Comunidad de Madrid? is situated in the heart of Spain. It covers an area of 8,000 km2. About 5 million people live within the whole region. The city of Madrid itself has about 2.9 million inhabitants. The situation is characterised by a rapid development of housing and businesses in the surroundings of the city. Traffic is characterised by a high share of people commuting into the core city. Although Madrid has an efficient metro line system, this results in a high level of peak hour congestion. As well the land use as the transport system do not fulfil the requirements of sustainability.

Different measures were realised and proposed to remedy the current situation. One of these was the extension of the metro line number 9 towards the fast developing municipalities of Rivas and Arganda del Rey. Another one is a bus and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane. This HOV lane covers a 16 kilometres long stretch of the highway N-VI and was opened in the year 1995. A hierarchical approach to assess the effects of these instruments was developed and employed in this study. The basis of the assessment framework is the strategic, dynamic land use and transport interaction model MARS. The MARS model covers the whole ?Comunidad de Madrid?. Effects on land use and regional travel patterns are predicted with this model. The results, settlement patterns and origin-destination matrices, are disaggregated for smaller study areas. An assignment model is applied to these areas. The modelling results are assessed applying a modified cost benefit analysis. Different scenarios for accompanying measures are tested.

The work presented here delivers two types of results: methodological advice and policy recommendations. The feasibility of the hierarchical approach to assess transport (and land use) projects towards the overall objective sustainability is demonstrated. Potential pitfalls and shortcomings are discussed and ways to overcome them are identified. The contribution of specific projects, the extension of the Madrid metro line number 9 and a bus/HOV lane, to the objective of sustainability is shown. Potential improvements for future projects are highlighted.


Association for European Transport