Keywords: External costs, mobility, environmental costs, social costs, monetarization
Purpose: This study provides a methodology to evaluate the environmental and social costs, which arise from traffic in the German city of Augsburg. Social costs are driven by air pollutants such as nitric oxides or particulate matter, causing health damages. Environmental follow-up costs are driven by the emission of greenhouse gases. Furthermore, approaches for a successful transformation towards a car-free city are shown.
Method: Based on traffic data from the Augsburg Civil Engineering Office, as well as traffic shares from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority, the average emission factors of vehicles on Augsburg´s streets and, subsequently, the total traffic emissions on municipal roads in the city are quantified. The environmental as well as the social consequences are monetarized using the cost rates by Matthey and Bünger (2019) and van Essen et al. (2019). Social costs are additionally assessed using to the DALY approach. Therefore the DALYs lost due to air pollutants are determined and costs per DALY are calculated using the willingness to pay-approach by Cropper and Khanna (2014) and Spengler (2004) additionally to a method by Daroudi et al. (2019) assessing health care expenditures.
Results: Applying this framework to the case study of Augsburg, results show, that environmental costs of 140.6 Million € arise from traffic in the city per year. These costs are entirely attributable to car traffic (77.7%), truck traffic (19.8%) and motorcycle traffic (1.9%), as public transport in Augsburg is climate neutral. Further, traffic on municipal roads in Augsburg causes a loss of 212.3 DALYs per year, which equals to annual social costs of 27.2 Million €. Cars account for 63.2% of those, trucks for 33.8%, motorcycles for 2.3% and buses for 0.2%, respectively. With a proportion of passenger kilometers of 90.4% from cars, 6.1% from motorcycles and 3.6% from buses, it is evident that cars contribute disproportionately to the environmental and social costs of Augsburg's traffic.
Conclusion: The social and economic follow-up costs of transport in the city of Augsburg are currently not borne by the polluter. Their great amount encourages measures, such as reinforcing the use of bicycles or public transport, eventually facilitating a change towards sustainable traffic in Augsburg.
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