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Rising car user costs: comparing aggregated and geo-spatial impacts on travel demand and air pollutant emissions

Kickhöfer, Benjamin; Hülsmann, Friederike; Gerike, Regine; Nagel, Kai

FG Verkehrssystemplanung und Verkehrstelematik

Our chapter starts from the assumption that car user costs are about to increase in the forthcoming decades. This is likely to have impacts on aggregated air pollutant emissions and on the spatial distribution of emissions. The concentration of some air pollutants still exceeds the limiting values prescribed by the European Union, especially in urban areas. Thus, the main focus of this chapter is the question whether a decrease in car travel demand due to higher user costs would result in an overproportional reduction of air pollutant emissions. When it comes to the discussion of cost-related transport policies, large-scale transport models are needed. However, for the analysis of air pollutant emissions, a detailed investigation of the micro level is also necessary. In order to combine both objectives, we use a multi-agent transport model for our simulations. The multi-agent transport simulation MATSim1 is able to simulate large-scale scenarios. It is also particularly suitable for calculating air pollutant emissions on a detailed level as complete daily plans are modeled and the traveler’s identity is kept throughout the simulation process. For illustration purposes of the impacts on air pollutant emissions, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is chosen. Furthermore, the transport sector is the main source of NO2 emissions and NO2 concentration limits are still often exceeded.