Covid-19 Update


Effective Monday, March 16, 2020 and until further notice, Econsult Solutions is having staff members work from home. This form of “social distancing” has been implemented with the safety of our staff and the community at large in mind. We have instituted all necessary remote-working features and remain open for business, hard at work on current engagements and eager to hear how we can support your needs. 

These are extraordinary times. The global pandemic has reached every aspect of every life in every corner of the world. More than ever, ESI stands ready to apply economics, strategy, and insight to help you move forward. Be on the lookout for additional content on our blog, Present Value. Together we will emerge stronger and wiser. 

Limiting our Potential: How Center City Congestion Impacts all Philadelphians

In recent years, Center City Philadelphia has grown in its attractiveness and activity, and with it has seen an increase in the number of pedestrians, transit riders, cyclists, and drivers of all types that share its narrow street grid. At the same time, the emergence of ridesharing and online shopping has put new kinds of demands on the grid. The resulting traffic congestion impacts the lives of residents throughout the city, costing them valuable time and limiting their ability to reliably access employment opportunities and amenities.

While congestion is in part a signal of success, if not managed properly it reduces the attractiveness of downtown Philadelphia as a business location, limiting job growth and opportunities for Philadelphia neighborhood residents and undermining a key competitive advantage of the city. Further, delays impact buses to a greater extent than cars, deepening existing equity challenges and setting into motion a vicious cycle by incentivizing riders with sufficient means to find alternatives, compromising the future competitiveness of the bus system while adding even more traffic to the roads.

This report does not evaluate potential causes or offer tactical recommendations for mitigating congestion, or address issues related to speed and safety, but rather seeks to quantify the economic and social losses that congestion engenders. The scale and scope of these impacts demonstrate that there is much to gain from addressing this issue.

Philadelphia Congestion Report Cover 2019
“While congestion is a sign of our recent success, its imposes costs that limit our attractiveness and put a ceiling on our growth.
When the street grid gets crowded, buses experience worse delays than cars. This means that riders who rely on transit suffer even more than drivers. This can create a vicious cycle by making transit service relatively less attractive, which can lead to ridership declines that put even more vehicles on the road.”
-Dr. Richard Voith
ESI President and Principal
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