Would You Stick To Using Your Car Even If Charged? Evidence from Trento, Italy

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - methods, ridership - mode choice, economics - pricing, mode - mass transit, mode - car


Value pricing (Road pricing), Trento (Italy), Transit, Socioeconomic factors, Socioeconomic aspects, Road pricing, Public transit, Mode choice, Modal choice, Mass transit, Local transit, Empirical methods, Commuters, Choice of transportation, Automobile use, Automobile usage, Automobile travel


Road pricing is becoming increasingly popular among decision-makers as a policy tool meant to rationalize transport flows in a given area. This paper aims to study modal choice as a function of the personal characteristics of commuters by considering an original data set of more than 9000 commuters in the Trento district of Italy which was collected in 2001. Empirical estimates of drivers' reaction to the introduction of road pricing and to the improvement of the quality of public transport services are provided. It was found that the introduction of a system of road pricing would be far more effective in reducing private car use than an improvement in the speed of public transport. It is also shown that road pricing should be carefully defined, as elderly people and families with children are among those with more inelastic private transport demand.