Monday, January 29, 2007

Going Dutch

Even in high density Holland the automobile is preferred to trains:

AMSTERDAM — Additional funding will not solve the problem of traffic jams, Carl Koopmans of the Institute on Transport Policies (Kennisinstituut voor Mobiliteitsbeleid, KiM) told De Pers Monday.

"It has been proven that expanding public transportation won't attract more private car owners", Koopmans said. Attempting to solve the traffic jams problem, it is therefore inefficient to pour more funding into, for example, the Dutch railroad company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), he added.

....On the one hand, cars are using less and less fuel, on the other hand, trains continue to consume a lot of electricity, Koopmans said.

Koopmans, who also lectures on infrastructure and transport at the University of Amsterdam, predicts that public transport will play a marginal role in the country's future.

More people drive today, while train use has remained the same since the 1990s, he explained.
In Koopmans' words, the train is a "niche product". The fundamental disadvantage of public transport is that you still have to get to and from it, he said.

The Pigou Club could not be reached for comment.

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