Transport, inequality and political opposition

Project managerElisabeth Thuestad Isaksen
ClientNFR via TØI
Client project no.302059
ParticipantsElisabeth Thuestad Isaksen
Oddbjørn Raaum
Period2020 - 2024

Project description

Road tolls and other measures to reduce car traffic in urban areas are controversial. Two examples are the yellow west protests in France and the local election campaign in Norway in 2019. A possible explanation is that road tolls are considered to have negative distributional impact, but the empirical evidence is scarce. In the TRIPOP project, we will investigate how road tolls and congestion pricing impacts different groups and whether the distributional impact may explain citizens? attitudes, electoral turnout and party support.

Norway is an interesting case because the modal share of private cars is high, even in urban areas. There is increasing use of road tolls, which have adverse impacts depending on where people live and work and how car dependent they are. Exemptions for electric vehicles may also have distributional impacts. We will study differences in the opportunities to adapt to local transport policies and the overall distributional impact, also taking into account the effect of road traffic on local air quality.

We will study these mechanisms combining different sources of data. A key source will be individual register data with information about car ownership and household characteristics as well as the areas in which one lives and works. Such data, which allow us to identify socio-economic differences is transport accessibility and travel behavior on a detailed geographic level, have to a little extent been used in transport research. We will also use traffic data from toll cordons and traffic counts to study changes in travel behavior. Furthermore, we will conduct surveys about in selected metropolitan areas on travel behavior and attitudes towards local transport policy.

We hope that our project will contribute to a better factual basis for urban transport policies as well as a more informed public debate about these important issues. The findings will also be relevant for policy-making related to the green transition in other sectors.


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