MIRA-research report “Internalization of external costs of transport in
Flanders” (2010) estimated the private costs, the external costs, and the
degree of internalization of transport for the period 2000-2008. Six years
later it is time to update this report.
in the previous study, we calculated the private and marginal external costs
for different transport modes. The private costs are the costs for the user.
For road transport these include the vehicle purchase costs, insurances,
maintenance, fuel costs, etc. For regulated transport (bus, train, plane) this
is the ticket price. Marginal external costs are external because the user does
not take them into account when deciding to make a trip. They are called
marginal as we focus on the additional effect of that one trip. We distinguish the following marginal external costs:
- Environment (air
pollution and greenhouse gasses)
of external costs determines the extent to which the user does take into
account part of these external costs via taxes and levies. In the case of full
internalization, the user pays for all the costs he causes via taxes and
levies. Today, in most cases, the user does not pay the full costs he causes.
this study we calculated the private costs, marginal external costs, and degree
of internalization for all modes for the period 2000-2014, with an outlook
towards 2016. Based on these calculations we assessed the evolution of the
degree of internalization over time. Is Flanders heading towards the “polluter
pays principle”? Which steps are needed to evolve to a better pricing?
what extent does the transport user internalize their external costs?
the moment most users do not pay for the nuisances they cause. The figure below
shows the degree of internalization for the different modes examined in this
study. The numbers are relative: the sum of all external costs equals
100 %. The small grey bars show to what extent the taxes cover the
marginal external costs. A negative tax represents a subsidy. For cyclists, the
marginal benefits are larger than the marginal costs, hence the sum of external
“costs” does not equal 100 %.
Figure 1: Internalization of external costs
for all transport modes (in %) (total marginal external costs = 100 %),
Flanders, 2014. Source: TML
The degree of
internalization for the modes bus and passenger train fall beyond the scale of
this graph. The degree of internalization for bus is -744 %, for passenger
train national diesel -540 % and for passenger train electric
-1 115 %.
marginal external health benefit, meic = marginal external infrastructure cost,
menc = marginal external noise cost, meac = marginal external accident cost,
meec = marginal external environmental cost, mecc = marginal external
For more information on the calculations,
the evolutions over time and possible lessons learned, we refer to the report.
o Read the full
report 'Internalisation of external costs of transport in Flanders: update 2016' (pdf, 12 MB) (Dutch report with English summary)
o MIRA indicator Marginale externe kosten van personenvervoer
o MIRA indicator Marginale externe kosten van goederenvervoer
o MIRA indicator Internalisering van schadekosten van transport
o MIRA indicator Internalisering van externe kosten wegverkeer naar tijdstip en locatie
indicators Environment & Economy
info available at Transport & Mobility Leuven
o MIRA contact:
Sander Devriendt (firstname.lastname@example.org)