The cost of mobility
The cost of transport includes the internal costs or costs paid by the user (motorway tolls, parking, travelcards, fuel, time, etc.) and the external costs that are paid by society via taxes (accidents, pollution, occupation of space, congestion, noise, etc).
Internal costs may be direct, related to the journey (fuel, parking, travelcard, motorway tolls and time) or indirect (vehicle payment, taxes and insurance)
The Department of Territorial Policy and Public Works carried out a study in 2001 that estimated the total cost of the land transport system to be §48,816 M.
Car users pay the internal costs although they only associate the indirect costs with their journeys, giving the impression that private vehicle use is cheaper.
Collective transport users pay a part of the internal costs (the rest being subsidised by the authorities)
External costs are paid by society as a whole in taxation.
Mobility based on more sustainable methods reduces the external costs. Private vehicles generate most external costs for each person transported.
If associated costs are taken into account, the use of collective transport, bicycle or walking is cheaper than using a car, and is often quicker.
For more information:
Transport accounting and the mobility model in relation to Sabadell and the Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona. Rafael Requena. 2001