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2011-01-31 | Policy Brief

To use integrated policy package and use more economic incentives to regulate the vehicle control in Beijing

Zhang, Shiqiu. 2010. “To use integrated policy package and use more economic incentives to regulate the vehicle control in Beijing.” Peking University
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With the rapid social and economic development, the vehicle population in China has been growing fast in recent years, especially the population of private car in big cities. As the rapid growth in vehicles causes air pollution from car emissions, traffic congestion and energy shortage, both policy makers and scholars are interested in finding ways to solve those problems, while ensure the basic travel needs of citizens are met. This study chose Beijing as the case area, and analyzed two typical policies implemented in Beijing, which got widespead concern and dispute. It's expected that the result of this study is able to provide references for related research and decision-making.

Beijing has been facing problems caused by fast growth of vehicles as other big cities. After years of treatment on air pollution from car emissions and traffic congestion, the government has realized the importance and urgency of private car travel demand management – learning from global and domestic experience. Recent years, Driving Restrictions and Gasoline Pricing Policy had been implemented in Beijing, to reduce the use of private cars, which were closely related to residents’ daily travel and provoked a plenty of discussion. Meanwhile, these two policies typically represent two types of private car travel demand management policies – “command & control” (C&C;) and “market-based instruments” (MBIs).

The analysis and comparison on the two typical policy instruments showed that: 1) C&C; policies were direct and deliver quick results, while the MBIs were more complex and took a longer time to become effective; 2) Achievement (pollution and congestion reduction) and input(welfare loss) of both were related to the scope and strength; when achieving a similar goal, driving restriction had a smaller welfare loss on drivers; 3) Both of them had hysteresis effect, which would counteract part of achievement.

The negative effects and limitations of “taking private car travel demand management only” are also discussed in this paper. Limited to the rigid demand and other realistic every travel demand management policy has a certain maximum achievement; meanwhile, the achievement will be counteracted by the growth of vehicle population. It’s implies that in order to solve the problems brought by vehicle in a long term, travel demand management policies are not enough - Vehicle population control and public transport development are need.