Economics of Transportation

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Microeconomics II; Industrial Organization; Public Economics.

Teaching Methods

Theoretical and practical sessions through expository methods and dialogue/debate. Resolution of individual practical exercises. Throughout both activities, a link to the actual context of transport systems will be sought whenever possible.

Learning Outcomes

The fundamental objective is to familiarize students with how the economy deals with the theme of transport.

Generic skills:

- capacity for analysis and synthesis;

- formulate and solve problems;

- critical spirit;

- oral and written expression.

Specific Skills:

1- recognize the importance of transport to the economy;

2- characterize the main modes and systems of transportation in Portugal, identifying market leaders;

3- understand the relationships with economic activity, location and urban economy;

4- recognize the specifics of demands for transportation;

5- characterize the specificities of transport costs and the implications for market structures and economic efficiency;

6- deal with negative externalities such as congestion and emissions of pollutants;

7- distinguishing aspects and currents of transport regulation;

8- Finally, principles for a transport policy will be laid out.

Work Placement(s)



1- Introduction and definition of Transport Economics; importance of the sector in the economy.

2- Analysis of transport markets:

- passengers by road, both individual and collective;

- passenger by rail;

- urban passenger, referring Coimbra;

- freight, by road and rail;

- air;

- shipping (by sea) of goods.

3- The mutual influence of transport on the location of people and activities; location models; externalities in cities.

4- Transport costs: for the user; with infrastructure; external and for operators.

5- The transport demand: the time constraint; the generalized cost; modeling.

6- Organization of supply and public intervention ¬ motivations, limits.

7- Optimum public choice; the general interest and welfare; private financing.

8- Choices in transportation projects.

9- Correcting externalities: traffic and pollution.

10- Transport policies: principles and practice.

Assessment Methods

Exam (50%) + Midtern exam (50%) or Final exam (100%): 100.0%


QUILÓMETROS, Euros e pouca terra − Manual de Economia dos Transportes. MURTA,

Daniel; I.U.C., 2010 Coimbra. [BP 338.47 MUR]

ANALYTICAL transport economics : an international perspective. Edited by Jacob B. Polack ;

Arnold Heertje. Cheltenham : Edward Elgar, 2000. [BP 338.47 ANA]

COYLE, John J. ; BARDI, Edward J.; NOVACK, Robert A. — Transportation. 4th ed. St Paul,

Min., : West Publishing Company, 1994. [BP 338.47 COY]

QUINET, Emile ; VICKERMAN, Roger — Principles of transport economics. Cheltenham :

Edward Elgar, 2004. [BP 338.47 QUI]

THEORETICAL foundations of travel choice modeling. Edited by Tommy Gärling ; Thomas

Laitila ; Kerstin Westin. Amsterdam : Elsevier Science, 1998. [BP 338.47 THE]