The impact of transportation demand management policies on commuting to college facilities: A case study at the University of Trieste, Italy

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - car, economics - pricing, policy - congestion, policy - fares, policy - parking, organisation - management, ridership - mode choice


Modal choice, Commuters, Parking pricing, Transit subsidies


Universities, like other types of public and private institutions, when located in a city, have both positive and negative impacts on the area where they are situated. On the one hand, they contribute to the prestige of the area; on the other hand, they are large generators/attractors of traffic. The ability to successfully balance the pros and cons of the urban location of these large traffic-generating institutions is crucial for their success and for the livability of the city. In this paper this issue has been analyzed selecting as a representative case the University of Trieste.

The aim of the research is to understand: (a) how mode choice decisions are made by the teaching and administrative staff and by the students at the various locations where academic activities take place, and (b) how they would be affected by 8 different transport management policies. It is found that changing the parking regulations (via the annual permit cost, the hourly parking fee, the number of parking spaces and the location of the parking lots) greatly influences mode choice in favor of bus use, especially for teaching and administrative staff and in the suburban locations. The students would be impacted by such changes only if an hourly parking tariff is introduced. The alternative approach of fully subsidizing the bus services would also have a large impact on bus ridership, affecting the mode choice in particular of the teaching staff and in the main university suburban sites.

Since the implementation of these bus-favoring policies could face the opposition either of the university staff or of the bus company, two more balanced policy mixes were tested: the first one, increasing parking price and imposing new parking restrictions, would increase bus ridership by 19%; the second one, reducing both bus and parking subsidies, would increase bus ridership by 13%.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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