Cutting social costs by decarbonizing passenger transport

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

policy - environment, policy - sustainable


Climate change mitigation, Sustainable mobility, Travel time costs, Vehicle costs, External costs, Health benefits


Major efforts are still needed to decarbonize passenger transport. To do so, a combination of improved technologies, a shift towards public transport, cycling and walking and the avoidance of trips is crucial. However, to ensure successful implementation, we need to better understand how these strategies affect the overall costs to society. Therefore, we assess the social costs of a decarbonized ground-based passenger transport system in 2040, covering vehicle costs, costs for externalities and travel time costs across travel modes. Our results show that social costs decline with the introduction of decarbonization strategies. Specific effects include a reduction of vehicle costs and external costs, a rise in external benefits due to positive health effects of active mobility that overcompensate remaining external costs, and possibly increased travel time costs.


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


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