Transportation Policies in Developing Countries
Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (CST)
- Chair: Maureen Cropper, University of Maryland
Optimal Public Transportation Networks: Evidence from the World's Largest Bus Rapid Transit System in Jakarta
AbstractDesigning public transport networks involves tradeoffs between extensive geographic coverage, frequent service on each route, and relying on interconnections as opposed to direct service. These choices, in turn, depend on individual preferences for walking to stations, waiting for buses, and transfers. We study these tradeoffs by examining the world's largest bus rapid transit system, in Jakarta, Indonesia, leveraging both a series of bus network expansions and a randomized bus allocation experiment. Using detailed ridership data and aggregate travel flows from smartphone data, we analyze how new direct connections, changes in bus travel time, and wait time reductions increase ridership. We then estimate a transit demand model with multi-dimensional travel costs, matching moments from the route launches. We find riders are highly sensitive to wait time. Finally, we find the optimal bus network numerically and study how its shape depends on the measured travel preference parameters.
What are the Benefits of a Subway in Mumbai, India?
AbstractThe first subway line in Mumbai, Metro Line 1 (11.4 km in length) became operational in June 2014, supplementing Mumbai’s extensive Suburban Railway Network and providing the first east-west rail link. We study the benefits of Line 1 by estimating its impact on property prices, using panel data on assessed values in a spatial difference-in-differences framework. We also explore the channels underlying the capitalization effects.
To estimate the effect of Line 1 on property prices we use administrative data on assessed prices in 725 sub-zones of Mumbai from 2011-18 for residential, commercial, and industrial land use categories. Using difference-in-differences in an event study framework, we compare areas that are within 1 km of Line 1 with control areas between 1 and 3 km from Line 1 before and after Line 1 opened. We find that up to two years prior to the opening of Line 1, the change in property prices in areas within 1 km of Line 1 was about 5-6% higher than the change in areas between 1 and 3 km from Line 1, reflecting anticipatory effects of the policy. After 2014, prices for residential and commercial properties within 1 km of the Metro increased between 17% and 13% compared to the control group. We find no such effects for the Mumbai Monorail, a light rail line that became operational four months before Metro Line 1.
We use information on commute flows from household surveys conducted in 2004 and 2019 to construct proxies for effective wages using a reduced-form gravity equation (following Kreindler and Miyauchi 2021) and an employment accessibility index, which is a commuting-cost-weighted average of wages obtainable from a given location. By examining the heterogeneity in our estimates by changes in these location amenities, we show their importance as an underlying source of benefit.
The Fast, the Slow, and the Congested: Urban Transportation in Rich and Poor Countries
AbstractUsing a newly assembled global database on motor vehicle travel speed from more than half a billion simulated trips in over 1,300 large cities containing 97% of the world's urban population (in cities over 300 thousand) outside China, we calculate comparable city-level indices of speed and congestion and document three novel facts. First, urban travelers in rich countries experience speeds roughly 50% faster than travelers in poor countries on average. Second, most speed variation is across countries, not within, and most of it can be explained by national income per capita. Third, variation in travel speed across cities, both between and within countries, is driven primarily by uncongested speed, not congestion. A decomposition suggests that most of the speed advantage of richer countries is explained by more major roads and lower population density. These results are consistent with a standard urban model, in which increased housing consumption and a higher value of time induce richer countries to build lower-density cities and invest more in roads. We conclude that enhanced urban mobility is an important and previously undocumented feature of economic development, and one that is limited more by poor infrastructure than by congestion. Since slow travel is costly regardless of its cause, existing indices emphasizing congestion are missing most variation in speed.
- R4 - Transportation Economics
- O1 - Economic Development