Vehicles, Travel Demand, and Income: Responses to Subways and Bus Rapid Transit in Mexico City
Department of Economics
University of Southern California
Friday, April 16, 2021
On-line via Zoom
12:00 pm-1:15 pm
The share of GHG emissions that come from the transportation sector is as high as 25 percent in wealthy countries compared to 5 percent in some of the poorest countries and shows a strong correlation with income over time. Part of this trend is explained by private vehicle ownership and use, which has so far steadily increased with income in most countries. This paper studies the role of public transportation infrastructure in curbing this trend in the context of Mexico City. We look at the effect of expansions in two modes of rapid transit, bus rapid transit and subway, on the differential use of public and private transportation by income. Our preliminary findings suggest that public transportation infrastructure expansions can both induce existing public transportation users to switch to rapid transit as well as bring middle- to high-income new users to public transportation. Our results also suggest that an important ingredient to steering travelers away from private vehicles is the access to multiple forms of rapid transit. Future work plans to study the mode and network characteristics that lead to differential adoption by income.