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The economics of automated public transport: Effects on operator cost, travel time, fare and subsidy

Alejandro Tirachini and Constantinos Antoniou

Economics of Transportation, 2020, vol. 21, issue C

Abstract: It is currently unknown in which city environments, automated vehicles could be deployed at reasonable speeds, given safety concerns. We analytically and numerically assess the impact of automation for optimal vehicle size, service frequency, fare, subsidy and degree of economies of scale, by developing a model that is applied for electric vehicles, with data from Chile and Germany, taken as illustrative examples of developed and developing countries. Automation scenarios include cases with partial driving cost savings and reduced running speed for automated vehicles. We find that a potential reduction in vehicle operating cost due to automation benefits operators, through a reduction of operator costs, and also benefits public transport users, through a reduction on waiting times and on the optimal fare per trip. The optimal subsidy per trip is also reduced. The benefits of vehicle automation are greater in countries where drivers’ salaries are larger.

Keywords: Automated vehicles; Electric vehicles; Public transport; Shared mobility; Total cost; First-best pricing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecotra.2019.100151

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