top of page
  • Writer's pictureMATPP

How Many Cars are Too Many?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018

14 OCT 2016 (FRI) | 19:00-20:00

Wang Gungwu Theatre, Graduate House, The University of Hong Kong.



Professor Kay W. Axhausen Professor of Transport Planning at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

Dr. K.W. Axhausen is Professor of Transport Planning at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). He holds his post in the Institute for Transport Planning and Systems of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. Before his appointment at ETH he worked at the Leopold-Franzens Universität, Innsbruck, Imperial College London and the University of Oxford. He holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the Universität Karlsruhe (now KIT) and an MSc from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

He has been involved in the measurement and modelling of travel behaviour for the past 30 years contributing especially to the literature on stated preferences, micro-simulation of travel behaviour, valuation of travel time and its components, parking behaviour, activity scheduling and travel diary data collection.  One strand of his current work focuses on the micro-simulation of daily travel behaviour and long-term mobility choices (see http://www.matsim.orgfor details). The second strand of his work is dedicated to the evaluation of transport projects.

He was the chair of the International Association of Travel Behaviour Research (IATBR) and is editor-in-chief of Transportation and earlier of DISp, both ISI indexed journals.



Drawing on on-going work with A. Loder, the talk will sketch a model system able to give a first answer to this question. The work was inspired by the predicament of Singapore and its transport policy. The country's car ownership allocation system has resulted in a set of car owners for whom the politically acceptable levels of road pricing are becoming irrelevant. It is becoming harder to achieve the speed and accessibility levels which the policy wants to achieve.

The question there and in any other dense metropolitan area is then how to combine the prices for car ownership and use with public transport prices and their system capacities to achieve the speed levels and accessibilities which society wants to achieve for quality of life. Or more bluntly: How many cars are too many for the given system capacity?

The key elements of the model system envisaged are: a model of car and season ticket ownership and use driven by the respective accessibilities, a link between the multi-modal macroscopic fundamental diagram and the level of accessibility. First partial results on these elements based on Zürich and Swiss data will be presented after a discussion of the Singapore situation. The outlook will highlight the empirical and theoretical challenges ahead.



Master of Arts in Transport Policy and Planning, HKU (MATPP)

Institute of Transport Studies, HKU (ITS)

Fee:Free Admission




Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page