Economic evaluation of the urban road public transport system efficiency based on Data Envelopment Analysis
Air pollution resulting from massive urban development and increased use of private vehicles is a major environmental concern, with particular relevance in urban areas. Urban public road transport has a significant impact on shaping land use patterns, air pollution and welfare. It must therefore be efficient in terms of air pollution in order to contribute to sustainable metropolitan mobility and economic growth. This study proposes a novel and consistent data envelopment analysis, aiming to identify which urban public transport vehicle is the most efficient in terms of air pollution and therefore environmentally suitable for use in public road transport systems. The case of Madrid has been analyzed, as it is representative of other large cities, which have similar bus alternatives and the common objective of reducing air pollution. Madrid City Council data has been compiled by authors and assessed by a panel of twenty experts to determine the model criteria weights. The results show that the plug-in electric vehicle has the lowest pollutant emission values while delivering the highest performance. Useful recommendations are provided to support public policy decisions related to the complex relationships between urban land use, urban transport and air pollution in urban areas.
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