International Transport Forum Paper Calls for Questioning Transport Assumptions

April 2011: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) International Transport Forum has published a discussion paper by Adriana Lobo titled “Perspectives from Mexico to Achieve More with Less: Alternative Transport Modes and their Social and Environmental Benefits.”

Lobo's paper aims to improve mobility decision-making processes by proposing to challenge underlying assumptions about transport to unlock the full potential of possible social and environmental benefits of improved transport. Among other issues, the paper discusses challenges of urban mobility, components of decision-making frameworks, investment costs and barriers, transit provision coverage and accessibility, and the cost of “doing nothing.”

The paper outlines four key reflections, namely that: corridor-based transport networks must be moved away from, as multimodal transport will be essential to improve accessibility and mobility; innovation and new technologies will add complexity to the search for alternative solutions, but will increase the probability of achieving positive impacts; doing nothing is extremely costly; and strategically understanding decision-making processes across levels and scales will create better solutions. [Publication: Perspectives from Mexico to Achieve More with Less: Alternative Transport Modes and their Social and Environmental Benefits]