49 Pages Posted: 6 May 2010
Date Written: March 1, 2010
This paper presents a model and an automated methodology for decomposing congestion costs in cities. We model a city as a directed graph and define the planner’s problem of finding the subgraph minimizing the congestion costs (latency) of endogenously-routing traffic flowing through the subgraph. We show that the minimal total latency subnetwork displays congestion directly proportional to city population. By applying an automated search algorithm on a widely available Internet mapping application, and hence sampling from the empirically implemented subgraphs, the paper estimates the congestion-minimizing distortions of city transit networks in a large sample of United States and Italian cities.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Trebbi, Francesco and Bombardini, Matilde, City Structure and Congestion Costs (March 1, 2010). Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 10-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1600786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1600786