Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Analysis of the Cost of Traffic Congestion on Worker's Productivity in a Mega City of a Developing Economy

Academic journal article International Review of Management and Business Research

Analysis of the Cost of Traffic Congestion on Worker's Productivity in a Mega City of a Developing Economy

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Introduction

Transportation system is an integral part of a modern day society, designed to provide efficient and economical movement between the component parts of a country and offer maximum possible mobility to all citizens (Leshem and Ritov, 2007). According to (Leshem et al, 2007), road transportation is a critical link between all the other modes of transportation and their proper functioning. It is the lifeblood of industrialised economies. Unfortunately, the existing road network, including the motorway system, is becoming explosively congested due to increase in the number of vehicles and inability to build new and larger motorways (David and Gregory, 2010).

Congestion is relatively easy to recognize when roads are noticeably filled with cars, trucks, and buses. Sidewalks filled with pedestrians. Congestion, both in perception and reality, impacts the movement of people and freight in most urban areas and is deeply tied to our history of high level of accessibility and mobility (Downs, 2004). Congestion, according to Ogunsanya (1984), can be described as a situation, which arises as a result of many vehicles struggling to use the same road at the same time along spatial and temporal dimensions. Some say that traffic congestion has been around since ancient Rome (Downs, 2004), "the Caesars noted that 'the passage of goods carts on narrow city streets so congested them that they became impassable and unsafe for pedestrians'.

Everyone detests traffic congestion, but it keeps getting worse, in spite of attempted remedies. This violates theoretical axiom that all problems have solutions in the long run. Rising traffic congestion is an inescapable condition in large and growing metropolitan areas across the world. Peak-hour congestion is an inherent result of the way modern societies operate, and the strong desires of their residents to pursue goals that inevitably overload existing roads and transit systems every day (David and Gregory, 2010). The problem of traffic congestion is that too many people want to move at the same time each day. This is predicated on efficient operation of both the economy and the school system which requires that people work, go to school, and run errands during the same hours so they can interact with one another. The situation becomes more crippling and unalterable due to the delicate space it occupies in the national economy and its pivotal role in society. It must be emphasized that the scourge is not peculiar to Nigeria. Indeed, it has become like cancer spreading its fangs in every major urban region in the world.

In the economic context, productivity is viewed as the ratio (total business output)/(weighted average cost of business inputs), and business output is defined in terms of dollars of business sales and business inputs are defined to include costs of obtaining labour, equipment, supplies, transportation, and other services. In general, congestion delays can affect productivity in three major ways: by increasing business costs of current delivery operations, by limiting or reducing business sales through a reduction in effective market size, and by increasing unit costs through loss of opportunities for scale economies in production and delivery processes. (Evers, 1988; McCann 1993; Ciccone and Hall 1996; Weisbrod, Vary and Treyz, 2001).

Hensher and Puckett (2005) observed that business costs and productivity clearly indicate that businesses incur costs associated with transporting goods and people that are beyond the direct personal value of driver time and direct operating cost. In their own view Kim, Hewings and Hong (2004) emphasised that these can be examined in terms of overall productivity measures, which in theory encompass the net effect of all such costs. Alternatively, they can be examined in terms of their primary components:

* Market access costs,

* Logistics costs,

* Production scheduling (JIT processing) costs, and

* Overall productivity. …

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