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Updates and events from MRCagney.

MRCagney staff published in Research in Transportation Economics

Thu, September 21, 2017  | 

We are happy to announce that research involving MRCagney staff has been published in the reputable journal Research in Transportation Economics. The paper "Urban agglomeration benefits from public transit improvements: Extending and implementing the Venables model" was co-authored by Stuart Donovan, in conjunction with Tim Hazledine and Christine Mak from the University of Auckland.

The Research in Transportation Economics journal is “devoted to the dissemination of high quality economics research in the field of transportation … The unifying theme throughout the papers is the application of economic theory and/or applied economic methodologies to transportation questions.” The Editors' stated goal “is to provide transportation researchers a valuable source of information useful in the formulation of transport policy and industry decision making.” 

Material for this particular paper originated in a project commissioned by the NZ Transport Agency, which sought research into the effects of public transport on economic productivity. The purpose of the project was to generate research to inform inform the business cases of potential public transport investments. Based on a review of the literature, the authors decided to adapt and extend the so-called "Venables model", in which the size of the city centre workforce is a function of transport costs to surrounding residential areas.

The paper finds that in the presence of traffic congestion, agglomeration economies, and taxes on labour income, improvements to public transport can generate external economic benefits. Using data from two case studies, specifically bus lanes and rail electrification, the authors show that the external economic benefits of public transport can be of a similar order of magnitude to predicted travel-time savings.
The paper is available online here.