COMM 446 - Transportation Economics

The course comprises three main parts. Part I deals with the demand for transportation. It considers peoples' needs to travel for work, shopping and other purposes as well as the costs of travel including vehicle operating costs, public transit fares, travel time, waiting time and so on. Part II considers the costs of building and maintaining transportation infrastructure and operating public transport services. It also examines in some detail the external costs of transportation: congestion, accidents, road damage, pollution and climate change. Part III concerns transportation policy with an emphasis on how to tackle externalities using regulations and pricing instruments such as taxes and highway tolls. Emphasis throughout the course is on urban passenger transportation and the use of analytical techniques to study real-world urban transportation problems and policy-making.

This course is crosslisted with ECON 480. BCom students wishing to take this course must register in COMM 446.

Learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • be able to apply the concepts and tools of microeconomics to conduct independent research on transportation economics topics.
  • analyze the efficiency of transportation markets.
  • help advise policymakers on transportation-related issues.
  • appreciate how economic principles work in a particular sector of the economy, and how transportation economics complements transportation engineering and other disciplines.

Note: COMM 446 is equivalent to ECON 480. Credit my be obtained for only one of COMM 446, ECON 480. COMM 446 will not be offered in 2017W.

Prerequisite: One of COMM 295, ECON 201, ECON 301, ECON 206.

Course credits:
3

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