Urban freight policymaking: The role of qualitative and quantitative research
Johanna Amaya Leal and
Barbara B. Seruya
Transport Policy, 2017, vol. 56, issue C, 75-85
The paper's fundamental tenet is that sound policymaking requires a solid understanding of how the target(s) of a policy would react to it. Transportation systems, particularly urban freight, are complex, heterogeneous, and often poorly understood by policymakers. Enacting policies that impact such a complex system can lead to ineffective efforts, and often, negative unintended effects. The best way to avoid these outcomes is to ensure that urban freight policy is supported by behavior research. To understand what kind of research most effectively supports sound policymaking, the authors conduct an ex-post assessment of qualitative and quantitative research techniques to determine which one more effectively predicts the behavioral changes that were seen by transportation users in response to transportation policies. The authors identify the key findings of five large research projects that, using qualitative and quantitative research, investigated the stated and revealed behavioral reactions of transportation users to pricing and incentive policies in the New York City metropolitan area. The findings are catalogued and used to compare insights gained from the qualitative research, and from the quantitative research conducted afterwards. The analyses shed light on the potential and the limitations of both approaches, the synergies that exist between them, and their potential in assisting the development of effective urban freight policies.
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