‘Transport is to cheap’

Hurray! The Belgian mainstream media are finally getting the concept of marginal external costs. One De Standaard article refers to a study of Transport & Mobility Leuven claiming that in the current political climate it’s not the user / polluter who pays the total costs involved in motorized transport. The solution according to the experts: increase taxes on diesel cars, stop paying employees in cars and start riding bikes!

The accompanied graph shows the percentage of costs per 100 km paid by the users. The calculation has been done for low cost flights, cars on natural gas, cars on diesel (private owned), hybrid cars, electric cars and cars on petrol. What this graph doesn’t mention is that people who use corporate cars only pay 21% of the total costs, that users of petrol cars used to cover all costs until 2006 and that public transport has a beter ratio per person concerning the marginal external costs.

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In another article Transport & Mobility claims that it’s the cyclists who subsidize the government. Every 100 km travelled by bike gains 43 EUR on health insurance (24,40 EUR for electric bikes). And the interesting part is that these figures are after taking care of the marginal external costs of the bikes.

So let us shift all marginal external costs to the users, so every one feels the true cost and can decide what’s the best solution for every kilometer travelled… Fine for me if the decision is a long distance flight or a diesel car piling up 60 000 km every year. (But I’m pretty sure things will change. Drastically!!!)

In January 2015 I’ve posted some articles on the same subject: New Timetable Belgian Railways and Marginal External Costs.

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