Mediterranean countries offer fewer urban transport options than Central European ones

September 16, 2010

Catalan researchers have studied the factors relating to urban transport service provision in 45 European cities, including Barcelona, Bilbao and Madrid. The study, published in the latest issue of Transportation research part E-logistics and transportation review, concludes that Central European cities have the best urban transport service provision in Europe. Capital cities are at the head of the league, both in terms of supply and demand.

"The geographic variables we studied show that Mediterranean countries have the least developed (offer the poorest range) in terms of urban transport systems, even though our demand for transport is not significantly lower than in the central countries", Daniel Albalate, who co-authored the study with Germà Bel, tells SINC. Both researchers work at the University of Barcelona (UB).

The study, published in the latest issue of the journal Transportation research part E-logistics and transportation review, analyses the socioeconomic features and institutional and regional urban transport factors of 45 European cities with very different characteristics.

"The countries of Central Europe have greater provision of urban transport in relation to population size than the Mediterranean and Nordic ones", explains Albalate. The so-called Eastern countries (which are also Central European) have better urban transport provision than Germany, Holland and France. "We have interpreted this result as a reflection of their Soviet legacy, with greater State intervention in the economy, and also in transport", the expert adds.

The 'public choice' theory

The results also throw light on other issues. "The cities that operate their own public transport tend to provide a range in excess of market requirements. However, cities with private incentives within their urban transport system tend to cut back on this over-provision", the researcher says.

"This would be confirmed by public choice theory, which anticipates that privatisation and competition for contracts should create fewer incentives to over-provide services. This is positive, but only if it doesn't lead to a reduction in quality or accessibility in certain areas. We found it does not affect demand, which leads us to believe that the privatisation of transport does not affect the quality of the service", Albalate adds.

Meanwhile, the study also confirms something that may seem obvious - the capital cities of European countries have the largest transport systems. "We were interested to see whether the state capitals had more provision but less demand, to see if they were receiving any favourable treatment. What we found is that there is both greater supply and demand in the capitals, so there is in fact a balance".
-end-
The study was carried out using the Mobility in Cities (MCD) database of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP www.uitp.org), which contains data from 52 cities worldwide. A sample of 42 European cities was chosen from these in order to produce a joint and standardised estimate for all the cities.

References:

Daniel Albalate y Germa Bel. "What shapes local public transportation in Europe? Economics, mobility, institutions, and geography", Transportation research part e-logistics and transportation review 46 (5): 775-790, septiembre de 2010. doi:10.1016/j.tre.2009.12.010

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

Related Barcelona Articles from Brightsurf:

Sea slugs: discovering other inhabitants in the Barcelona coasts
A study on marine biodiversity has identified seventy-three species of sea slugs in the coasts of Barcelona, an anthropized environment due to the urban metropolis.

Walking along blue spaces such as beaches or lakes benefits mental health
Short, frequent walks in blue spaces--areas that prominently feature water, such as beaches, lakes, rivers or fountains -- may have a positive effect on people's well-being and mood, according to a new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and published in Environmental Research.

Citizen science and paddle surf to study microplastic pollution in Barcelona's coastline
A team of the University of Barcelona has studied for the first time the presence of microplastics in the coasts of Barcelona, with the collaboration of the citizens gathering scientific samples.

University of Barcelona study links weekend eating jet lag to obesity
A new study by the University of Barcelona (UB) concluded that irregularity in eating schedules during the weekend, named by the authors as eating jet lag, could be related to the increase of body mass index (BMI), a formula that measures weight and height to determine whether someone's weight is healthy.

Researchers at IRB Barcelona study how altered protein degradation contributes to the development of tumors
Published in the journal Nature Cancer, the study analyses how genetic alterations in tumour cells prevent the correct degradation of the proteins involved in tumour development and growth, thereby leading to abnormal cell behaviour.

Researchers from the IDIBELL and the University of Barcelona describe a new treatment that could cope with 2 bone diseases
Researchers have found a possible treatment for 2 bone diseases that have actually no cure.

A study demonstrates that p38 protein regulates the formation of new blood vessels
Ángel R. Nebreda's team (IRB Barcelona) publishes a study in the journal Nature Communications addressing the role of the p38 protein in angiogenesis--the formation of new blood vessels--a critical process that fuels tumour cells and allows them to grow and eventually develop metastases.

The Zika epidemic in Cuba, reflected by imported cases in Barcelona
Travelers returning to Barcelona mirrored the 2017 Zika outbreak in Cuba, according to a study led by the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, an institution supported by 'la Caixa'.

A study from IRB Barcelona describes the reaction mechanism of DNAzymes
Modesto Orozco's lab (IRB Barcelona) has published a study on the reaction mechanism of DNAzymes in Nature Catalysis.

Characterisation of the structure of a member of the L-Amino acid Transporter (LAT) family
Mutations in L-amino acid transporters (LATs) can lead to a wide range of conditions, such as autism, hearing loss and aminoacidurias.

Read More: Barcelona News and Barcelona Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.