Impact of Road Tolls on the Modal Split in Freight Transport

Can rail transport share be changed by higher road toll levels for trucks?
The European railway transport market is characterized by increasing competition. Railway companies point out on every occasion their fiscal disadvantage towards transports of goods by road. In a study focused on this topic, the following thesis has been proclaimed: market share and competitiveness of rail transport towards road transport (freight) could be increased if the road toll level for trucks will be nearly similar to the ‘LSVA’ in Switzerland.


Scope of the project

Critical validation of the thesis that market share and rail competitiveness in freight transport clearly depend on toll levels for trucks.



Based on an analysis of road toll systems in Europe, TransCare evaluated rail feasible and rail affine volumes of goods transported by road using the example of Germany and France as representative countries. For the resulting Modal Shift potential from road to rail has then been made a price sensitivity analysis to calculate the road toll level that would lead to a change of Modal Split for the benefit of rail transport.
Finally, TransCare pointed out the resulting effects of such a drastic increase of road toll levels for trucks on national economies.

Our services

  • Status-quo-analysis of road tolls in Europe.
  • Cost efficiency and transport policy conditions evaluation.
  • Rail feasible and rail affine volume analysis of goods transported by road.
  • Modal Shift potential – road to rail.
  • Infrastructure tolls and taxes analysis.
  • Price sensitivity analysis by category.
  • Road toll level determination that leads to a change in the modal split.
  • Effects of toll levels on national economies.



Bundesverband Güterkraftverkehr, Logistik und Entsorgung (BGL)





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