Designing optimal urban transport strategies: The role of individual policy instruments and the impact of financial constraints

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban


urban transport policy, cost-benefit analysis, optimisation


This paper presents a methodology for the design of optimal transport strategies and the case study results of the methodology for the City of Edinburgh, using the two multi-modal transport/land-use models MARS and TPM. First, a range of policy instruments are optimised in turn and their relative impacts explored. Second, optimisations with and without financial constraints are performed and compared. Although both models produce similar optimal policies, the relative contribution of the instruments differs between models as does the impact on outcome indicators. It is also shown that by careful design it is possible to identify a strategy which costs no more than the do-minimum but which can generate substantial additional benefits. The optimisation methodology is found to be robust, and is able to be used with different transport models, and with and without financial constraints.


Permission to publish the abstract given by Elsevier. Copyright remains with Elsevier.


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