Citywide Effects of High-Occupancy Vehicle Restrictions: Evidence from the Elimination of ‘3-in-1’ in Jakarta

28 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2017 Last revised: 13 Apr 2017

See all articles by Rema Hanna

Rema Hanna

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Gabriel Kreindler

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics, Students

Benjamin A. Olken

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Society of Fellows

Date Written: March 2017

Abstract

In cities worldwide, the widespread use of single occupancy cars often leads to traffic congestion and its associated ill effects. Using high frequency data from Google Maps, we test whether high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) policies can be an effective tool to combat congestion. Using the unexpected lifting of Jakarta’s HOV policy, we show that after the policy was abandoned delays rose about 39 percent on affected roads during the morning peak—and nearly 69% during the evening peak. Importantly, this was not due to simply a substitution from other roads to the former HOV routes: the lifting of the policy led to worse traffic throughout the city, even on roads that had never been restricted or at times of the day when restrictions had never been in place. The increase in traffic persisted long after the policy was lifted. In short, we find that HOV policies can greatly improve traffic conditions.

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Suggested Citation

Hanna, Rema and Kreindler, Gabriel and Olken, Benjamin A., Citywide Effects of High-Occupancy Vehicle Restrictions: Evidence from the Elimination of ‘3-in-1’ in Jakarta (March 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23295. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2946701

Rema Hanna (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Gabriel Kreindler

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

Benjamin A. Olken

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-391
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6833 (Phone)
617-253-1330 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-588-1407 (Phone)

Harvard University - Society of Fellows

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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