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Heuristic Policy Analysis of Regional Land Use, Transit, and Travel Pricing Scenarios Using Two Urban Models

UCD-ITS-RP-02-16

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Suggested Citation:
Rodier, Caroline J., Robert A. Johnston, John E. Abraham (2002) Heuristic Policy Analysis of Regional Land Use, Transit, and Travel Pricing Scenarios Using Two Urban Models. Transportation Research Part D 7 (4), 243 - 254

To address some of the uncertainties inherent in large-scale models, two very different urban models, an advanced travel demand model and an integrated land use and transportation model, are applied to evaluate land use, transit, and auto pricing policies in the Sacramento, CA (US), region. The empirical and modeling literature is reviewed to identify effective land use, transit, and pricing policies and optimal combinations of those policies and to provide a comparative context for the results of the simulation. The study illustrates several advantages of this approach for addressing uncertainty in large-scale models. First, as Alonso [Predicting the best with imperfect data, AIP Journal (1968)] asserts, the intersection of two uncertain models produces more robust results than one grand model. Second, the process of operationalizing policy sets exemplifies the theoretical and structural differences in the models. Third, a comparison of the results from multiple models illustrates the implications of the respective models' strengths and weaknesses and may provide some insights into heuristic policy strategies. Some of the key findings in this study are (1) land use and transit policies may reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and emissions by about 5–7%, and the addition of modest auto pricing policies may increase the reduction by about 4–6% compared to a future Base Case scenario for a 20-year time horizon; (2) development taxes and land subsidy policies may not be sufficient to generate effective transit-oriented land uses without strict growth controls elsewhere in the region; and (3) parking pricing should not be imposed in areas served by light rail lines and in areas in which increased densities are promoted with land subsidy policies.