In the publication “Outlines of an Integrated Transport System”, the Knowledge Institute for Mobility Policy (KiM) previously presented a number of promising policy options for more efficient use of infrastructure. The ‘Space in the System’ study tracks and tests how much ‘meat these policy options have on their bones’ and whether they are socially desirable in terms of congestion, road safety and CO2 emissions. .
The Space in the System study, released today, assesses eight potential changes and policy options in the use of transport and infrastructure. Important obstacles and possible solutions are discussed here. The document follows a previous post by KiM in December 2018.
The analysis shows that there are still great opportunities for peak load in road and rail passenger transport during peak hours. Outside peak hours, the infrastructure capacity is sufficient to accommodate this number of passengers during peak hours, which means that agreements with employers and educational institutions on flexible working and working hours teaching can make a significant contribution. In freight rail transport and inland navigation, the possibilities of opting for alternative routes are limited. In addition, inland navigation has to cope with peak days when the capacity of the locks is insufficient.
Automotive and Aviation Opportunities
In the transport of passengers and goods, there are opportunities to make better use of unused capacity by working shorter distances with smaller vehicles (rightsizing) or by consolidating movements and loads. When transporting containers, the road network can be lightened by making more use of rail and inland navigation. In the short term, it seems possible to transport ten to twenty percent of the containers differently.
The study also shows that car to train shifts are possible at distances of fifty kilometers or more, which can lead to lower CO2 emissions. The capacity of the train for this has an upper limit of the order of magnitude of one-sixth of the total number of long journeys by car. On international routes up to 800 kilometers, the number of aircraft movements can also be replaced by train journeys (High Speed Line). With measures to improve comfort, especially during the transfer, the train can accommodate around twenty percent of the number of aircraft movements up to 800 kilometers from Schiphol Airport by 2030, according to the KiM. It depends on take-off and landing rights and the capacity available at Schiphol.
Students miss the incentive
For shorter distances of up to fifteen kilometers, cycling is an attractive alternative to both the car and the bus, tram and metro (BTM). According to the study, little is known about the residual capacity of the cycling infrastructure. Where there is still room for public transport capacity, travelers over distances of up to thirty kilometers can also be accommodated. Important reasons for not switching to a bicycle are bad weather conditions, sweating during the journey, and carrying passengers or heavy luggage. For many students, their access to free public access to the knowledge institution also makes cycling less likely.
The report indicates that hasty incentives can lead to reciprocal substitution. Motorists discouraged from using the road can overload rail traffic capacity if it is not simultaneously increased. This in turn leads to a change in behavior among train passengers, who choose to travel by car.
The report did not examine the possibilities of exploiting changes in the various options of public transport, aviation or waterways. ‘Higher order’ changes, such as encouraging bus, tram or metro passengers to cycle more in order to free up space for motorists, were also not included. The report does not exclude that these changes are not promising.
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