Regulatory Reform and the Congestion of Urban Railways

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - capacity, operations - traffic, policy - congestion, economics - pricing, economics - benefits, place - urban, mode - rail


Urban transportation, Train traffic, Social benefits, Simulation, Regulatory reform, Railroad travel, Railroad traffic, Railroad capacity, Pricing, Price caps, Japan, Intracity transportation, Congestion (Railroads), Computer simulation, Closed spatial models


This paper examines various regulatory methods for congested urban railways. After building a closed spatial model with a congestible railway line, we conduct a numerical simulation of the impacts of the regulatory methods, using data on a typical railway firm in Japan. A closed spatial model in this paper enables us to evaluate the regulatory methods in terms of social welfare as well as to show a change in the typical performance of railways, such as the level of fares, railway capacity, and congestion. The simulation results show that implementing simple price-cap regulation, without properly addressing the congestion problem, makes railway firms operate efficiently, but substantially shrinks railway capacity and lowers social welfare. We then consider modified versions of price-cap regulation, which are consistent with relief of congestion.


Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564