Congestion from a Multimodal Perspective

  • Frederic Rudolph Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie GmbH, 42103 Wuppertal, Döppersberg 19., Germany
  • Tamás Mátrai Department of Transport Technology and Economics, Faculty of Transportation Engineering and Informatics, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, H-1111 Budapest, Műegyetem rkp. 1-3., Hungary


This paper investigates the multimodal nature of urban congestion and network performance, with the aim of developing practice ready policy tools to alleviate the adverse effects of excess demand, no matter in which mode it realizes. As part of the efforts to get an overall understanding of how congestion is defined in various disciplines, we conduct a literature review of relevant engineering and microeconomics studies. The investigation reveals the main areas where contradiction can be identified between engineering and economics approaches. In a second step, we investigate the results of an expert survey about the principles of congestion analysis from a multimodal perspective. The main contribution of the paper is twofold. First, we draw attention to the pitfalls of oversimplified and narrow viewpoints on congestion. Second, we operationalize these principles in order to enable decision makers to assess the impact of urban transport measures on congestion.

Keywords: congestion, active modes, definition, multimodality, urban mobility
Published online
How to Cite
Rudolph, F. and Mátrai, T. (2018) “Congestion from a Multimodal Perspective”, Periodica Polytechnica Transportation Engineering, 46(4), pp. 215-221. doi: