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Cars, Congestion and Costs: A New Approach to Evaluating Government Infrastructure Investment

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July 11, 2013

The true costs of congestion in Canada’s cities are higher than previously estimated, according to a report released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Cars, Congestion and Costs: A New Approach to Evaluating Government Infrastructure Investment,” author Benjamin Dachis says there are social and economic costs to congestion that governments should take into account when investing in infrastructure, beyond the cost of time lost in traffic. “When congestion makes people choose to stay at home rather than travel, all sorts of activities are curtailed, resulting in a quantifiable loss to the economy,” commented Dachis. “These losses should be included in the costs of congestion and, in turn, estimates of the benefits of new infrastructure investment.”

 

Author(s):

Benjamin Dachis, Associate Director, Research
Benjamin Dachis

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