Guidelines and Manuals
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Submitted by
Peter Midgley, gTKP
Related theme(s)
Urban Mobility, Finances & Economics
All Regions

Who pays what for urban transport? Handbook of good practices

Across the world, urban sprawl and traffic congestion in cities have generated an ever growing need for urban transportation which, in turn, creates demand for collective transportation systems that are both energy-saving and low in greenhouse gas emissions, while being widely accessible and occupying little space.

The financing of these systems (operating and investment costs) cannot be covered by the income from fares and subsidies alone. Other sources are necessary, sources that cities and countries endeavour to find and implement as best they can, often with success but always with difficulty.

In a wide range of local and national contexts, many original mechanisms have been developed: taxes on employers and business activities, betterment taxes to capture land value increases in areas served by public transport systems, and road infrastructure and parking charges. Depending on the context, these mechanisms
associate different levels of public institutions, sometimes the urban transport authorities, but also private actors, especially in the context of public-private partnerships. Their goal remains the same: the continual and efficient development of urban transportation and its sustainable adaptation to the city’s growth.

This Handbook of Good Practices in Funding Urban Transport is the product of a joint initiative between the French Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea (MEEDDM) and the French Development Agency (AFD). It was written by the association “Cooperation for urban mobility in the developing
world” (CODATU), and draws from subject-based analyses and case studies, with input by the Center for studies on urban planning, transportation and public facilities (CERTU).

The guide is by no means exhaustive but aims to highlight key examples of funding solutions which can be mobilised in the public transport sector. The idea is to present a frame of reference for decision-makers, in both the North and South, who would be brought to think about the organisation and financial structure of the urban transportation system which offer the best fit with their city’s requirements and particularities.