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Dynamic parking pricing – lessons learned from the United States

Increasingly known as an alternative to congestion pricing, dynamic parking pricing is an idea that has garnered the interest of city administrators and transportation planners alike. Successful projects such as SF Park have shown that changing prices based on demand, including for different times of day, different zones, and for special events can reduce congestion, improve the speed and reliability of public transportation, and increase the economic competiveness of its downtown zones. By sharing lessons learned at the Future Mobility Camp, civity is opening a discussion about parking and congestion pricing for German and European cities.

Wendy Tao is a 2013-2014 Bosch Fellow (Link to Bosch Foundation) completing her first work stage at civity Management Consultants. She is a transportation planner from the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently on leave from Cambridge Systematics (Link to Cambridge Systematics).

Future Mobility Camp

International benchmarking of Network Rail’s operations and support functions expenditure

The ORR is currently determining Network Rail’s funding for Control Period 5 (2014-2019). In this context, the ORR commissioned civity to benchmark Network Rail’s operations and support functions expenditure with other European railway infrastructure managers.

The comparator group comprised a mixture of dedicated railway infrastructure managers, and the railway infrastructure elements of vertically integrated railways and organisations that manage national transport infrastructure from six European countries.

The operations functions include those activities required to operate the infrastructure, such as signallers and traffic control staff.

Support functions are the central activities that support the infrastructure manager’s core business. The study focuses on six of these functions: workplace management, asset management, information management, human resources, procurement, and finance – as these cover the majority of the total support functions expenditure.

The full report is available here.

civity paper on railway efficiency published for the 2013 OECD/ITF Annual Summit

Dr. Arne Beck, Dr. Heiner Bente and Martin Schilling completed the paper for the International Transport Forum’s (ITF/OECD) Summit in May 2013. Key indicators reveal significant efficiency gaps between railways.

Factors Affecting Tender Prices in Local Bus Transport

For example, while prices throughout most of the federal state of Hesse increase over time, prices in the Munich area decrease. Moreover, a
simple OLS-regression confirms that the number of bidders has a clear price-decreasing
effect, highly significant on a 99.9 per cent level.

The article of Dr. Beck and Dr. Walter has been published by the well known "Journal of Transport Economics and Policy " Volume 47, Issue 2, May 2013, Pages 265–278

15 years of international railway infrastructure benchmarking

A total of 15 railways in Western European have been involved in this project since the beginning and have contributed key data to make the analysis possible. Following 15 years of benchmarking (from 1996 to 2010), a comprehensive report is now being published which shows trends and developments from a European perspective. This follows the publishing of a brief extract from the report in the Railway Gazette International in August 2012.

From a user perspective, growth in European rail demand has increased significantly since 1996, both in passenger and freight transport (+25 % and +10 %, respectively). Additionally, rail’s mode share in the transportation market has increased over this time period. In terms of the supply of rail services, passenger train frequency has increased at nearly the same level as demand, resulting in only a slight change in passenger train utilisation over this time period. (5 % increase in passengers per train). In freight transport, on the other hand, higher volumes of goods are being transported today while concurrently reducing train mileage, which has led to significantly improved usage of trains (20 % increase in tonnes per train).

More frequent use of rail infrastructure means increased wear and tear, which results in shorter service lives. In recent years, annual expenditures to replace infrastructure systems and equipment have risen by approximately two-thirds. This development is also reported to be the result of efforts to prevent the network from becoming obsolete and to address the existing backlog of infrastructure renewals projects.

Despite increased wear and tear, expenditure on infrastructure maintenance decreased approximately 10 % as a result of more efficient work processes and a reduction in network complexity and therefore susceptibility to infrastructure failures.

Analysing individual developments of these countries can provide further insights that might be overlooked when looking at the European network as a whole. Considerable discrepancies can be seen when it comes to cost and performance indicators. For example, the analysis highlights that spending per track-km differs by a factor of more than three when comparing the two countries that spend the most and the least on rail infrastructure. This takes network complexity and utilisation into account.

Since the increase in rail transport volumes is expected to continue in the foreseeable future, the continuation of this study will provide the participating railways with a solid platform to help them identify trends and their potential for improvement.