According to the New York Time’s Freakonomics Blog, the Balanced Transport Analyser “is a spreadsheet that models in intricate detail the daily flow of all transit – public, private, wheeled and bipedal – in New York City”. According to Wired, “over the course of about 50 worksheets, the BTA breaks down every aspect of New York City transportation—subway revenues, traffic jams, noise pollution—in an attempt to discover which mix of tolls and surcharges would create the greatest benefit for the largest number of people”.
It calculates “how new fees and changes to existing tolls affect traffic at different times of day and calculates which costs are borne by city dwellers and which by suburbanites. It calculates how long it takes passengers to dig for change and board buses. And it allows any user to adjust dozens of different variables—from taxi surcharges to truck tolls—and measure their impact. The result is a kind of statistical SimCity, an opportunity to play God and devise the perfect traffic policy”.
The Balanced Transport Analyzer was created by Charles Komanoff. The complete model can be downloaded here.