An effi­cient trans­port system is crucial for the func­tio­ning of modern econo­mies. It gives people the possi­bi­lity to live, work and parti­ci­pate in recrea­tional activi­ties at diffe­rent loca­tions. And it enables firms to buy inputs from distant produ­cers and to sell their goods at loca­tions diffe­rent from their produc­tion loca­tion.

Trans­port markets are chal­len­ging subjects of rese­arch. One main reason is the frequently found diver­gence between the user equi­li­brium and the social optimum. The diver­gence is usually due to the presence of nega­tive exter­na­li­ties that trave­lers impose on each other (recur­rent and non-­re­cur­rent travel delays, sche­dule delays, crow­ding) and on society as a whole (air pollu­tion, noise, acci­dents). Another reason is the multi­di­men­sional character of the choices of indi­vi­duals and firms that ulti­mately deter­mine the trans­por­ta­tion demand for a given link, time and mode. These include (i) shor­t-run choices concerning the trip making, the timing (sche­du­ling), the mode and the route, but also (ii) medium- and long-run choices concerning vehicle ownership and loca­tional deci­sions of indi­vi­duals (resi­dence, work­place) and firms (head­quar­ters, distri­bu­tion centers, subcontrac­tors). Comple­xity is further aggra­vated (among others) by the network struc­ture, sche­duled trans­por­ta­tion, and the exis­tence of market power of service opera­tors and infra­struc­ture supp­liers.

Mehr über dieses Thema

A first theme in the rese­arch relates to the optimal design of economic instru­ments that aim at incre­a­sing effi­ci­ency in trans­port markets. These include pricing, infra­struc­ture invest­ments and infor­ma­tion provi­sion to trave­lers. As firs­t-­best poli­cies are often not feasible in reality, also secon­d-­best poli­cies are defined and bench­marked against the corre­spon­ding firs­t-­best poli­cies.

A second rese­arch focus is the inte­gra­tion of travel-­re­lated short-, medium- and long-run deci­sions in a cohe­rent mode­ling frame­work, from a theo­re­tical as well as an empi­rical perspec­tive. At the core is the explicit mode­ling of the linkage between shor­t-run deci­sions on day- specific travel alter­na­tives, medi­um­-run deci­sions on travel routines, and long-run deci­sions on housing and work loca­tions, or car ownership. First results show that models taking into account these inter-­tem­poral inter­de­pen­den­cies may yield substan­ti­ally diffe­rent results than models that ignore them.

Another domi­nant rese­arch theme is the deri­va­tion of mone­tary valua­tions of travel attri­butes, which consti­tute an essen­tial input for cost-be­nefit analyses of trans­port poli­cies. Well-k­nown exam­ples are the valua­tions atta­ched to reduc­tions of travel time and sche­dule delays and to impro­ve­ments in relia­bi­lity and comfort. These can be derived either from stated prefe­rence (SP) data that are collected in hypo­the­tical choice expe­ri­ments or from revealed prefe­rence (RP) data that are collected in real-­life expe­ri­ments. The data are analyzed using advanced discrete choice mode­ling tech­ni­ques.

Unser Forschungs­team für Trans­port­wirt­schaft

Stefanie Peer, PhD
Stefanie Peer, PhD

Assistenzprofessorin und Habilitandin

Stephan Lehner, M.Sc.
Stephan Lehner, M.Sc.