User inequity implications of road network vulnerability

Erik Jenelius


An important purpose of the road transport system is to allow people to commute in efficient and reliable ways. For various undesired reasons, however, link capacities are sometimes reduced or links are closed completely. To assess and reduce the risk of such events, a key issue is to identify road links that are particularly important, i.e. roads where disruptions would have particularly severe consequences. This paper presents a method for incorporating user equity considerations into a road link importance measure. As a complement to measuring the total increase in vehicle travel time, we also measure the disparity in the distribution among individual users. These two components are combined to form an equity-weighted importance measure. We study the properties of this measure both analytically and in a full-scale case study of the Swedish road network. A main result is that increasing the weight put on the equity aspect transfers importance from the main roads to smaller local roads. The use of the measure in transport policy and planning is discussed.



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