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Euromethodologies for Travel Assessment

European Union
Complete with results
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues


Background & Policy context

In 1995, the European Commission's Green Paper on 'Fair and efficient pricing in transport' put forward the policy of charging transport users according to the costs they impose. These costs include costs on society due to marginal increases in congestion, accidents and pollution. The Green Paper noted that the rich spend more of their income on transport than the poor and therefore would be charged more. However, the document also noted that increased charges could cause relatively greater hardship for people on low incomes, and called for further investigation of the impact of cost-internalisation strategies on different groups of consumers. This would allow compensating policies to be designed to minimise the risk of people being excluded from mobility.


The objective of EXTRA/2 was to assess the consequences of increased charges for road transport for groups that face some disadvantages in terms of mobility, such as the young, the elderly, women and the poor.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission; Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN; formerly DG VII)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


Data from previous travel surveys were analysed to find evidence for the likely effects of pricing policies. The data covered a range of cities (Helsinki, Tampere, Oulu and Turku in Finland, London, Oslo, and Turin, Milan, Genoa, Rome, Naples and Palermo in Italy) as well as national data for The Netherlands and Norway.

Overall, the statistics show that women are less mobile than men. They tend to make fewer, shorter trips, and they more often walk, cycle or take the bus, while men make more trips as car drivers. Similarly, people over 55 tend to make fewer trips per day, and both young and old people are less likely to drive a car when making a trip. People in paid work tend to make more, longer trips in a day than those without paid work, and these trips are more likely to be made by car. Car driving is generally the mode of choice for those who can afford it, with people from higher income households tending to use their cars the most.

EXTRA/2 looked at data on the elasticity of demand for transport, i.e. the sensitivity of travellers in changing how much they travel when the price changes. The main finding was that there is little information on elasticity values for different socio-economic segments, the results vary substantially between countries, and depend significantly on the source of the data (surveys versus simulation modelling, the former being the more reliable method). In general, car use seems to be less sensitive to changes in travel costs than the use of public transport. Further analysis indicated that the strongest influences on elasticity values are the country (presumably reflecting differences in culture and transport infrastructure) and the competitiveness of the different transport modes.

Policy implications

The project drew the following conclusions:

  • Cost-internalisation for road use, if applied without complementary measures, will reduce the mobility of those who already face disadvantage, or further increase the burden of transport costs in their income.
  • However, road pricing could be introduced so that its revenues are used to improve the mobility of disadvantaged groups, e.g. by making public transport safer.
  • In addition, regulation could be used to target the most damaging trends in road use (such as driving to out-of-town shopping centres).
  • Public transport alternatives have to be put in place before any pricing measures that lead to a modal shift from cars.

EXTRA/2 also identified a need for greater standardisation in the methodologies for collecting data on travel behaviour, and made recommendations for surveying the mobility of different socio-economic groups.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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