AsTra model

Analytical capabilities

ASTRA assessment capabilities cover a wide range of policies with flexible timing and variable levels of the policy implementation. Potential policies include standards setting, infrastructure pricing, fuel taxation, speed limits, carbon taxes, trade policies etc. A strong feature of ASTRA is the ability to simulate and test integrated policy packages and to provide indicators for the indirect effects of transport on the economic system (e.g. sectoral value-added, sectoral employment, GDP, trade flows, income by income groups). ASTRA has also been applied to analyse future challenges, in particular the impact of high oil prices on the EU economy and the impact of ambitious European climate policy until 2050.

The ASTRA model has been successfully used for the following applications:

  • Transport policy assessment: pricing, taxation, TEN infrastructure, emissions and efficiency standards, Cost-benefit-analysis of transport projects;
  • Technology and scenario analysis: technology and employment policy, hydrogen technology strategy, integrated energy and transport scenarios, energy and transport policy;
  • Renewable policy assessment: subsidies, feed-in tariffs, investment strategies;
  • Climate policy assessment: transport policy, EU-ETS, energy scenarios, investment strategies, cost implications.

The indicators that ASTRA can produce cover a wide range of impacts; in particular transport system operation, economic, environmental and social indicators.

More in details, transport system operation indicators are estimated at aggregated level (namely at Country level); nevertheless, the additional value of using system dynamics for transport modelling enriches the analysis with respect to a traditional transport model, thanks to the linkage with the modules related to economic and technological aspects. The economic module of the ASTRA model addresses the linkages between transport and economy, mainly in terms of the effects of transport policy measures on regional GDP or employment; the fleet module reflects impacts on the technology side; the environmental module deals with health impacts of air-pollution. Furthermore, these additional impacts can interact to each other. As an example, let’s take the impact of road charging. If a charge is introduces or increased for cars in the transport module, this measure has a depressing effect on car purchasing. In turn, less cars mean that some less population has a private vehicle available and, since car availability promote personal mobility, less trips will be generated. In another step forward, the impact of road charging on the vehicle fleet propagates itself until the economic model, where less consumptions and investments are modelled and therefore less employment and less production. The reduction of economic activity is fed back into the demand estimation, because freight transport demand depends on production and because employed people travel more than unemployed people.

In general, the variety of indicators estimated with the ASTRA model and the fact that these indicators are provided as time series offer the opportunity to apply a large variety of different assessment schemes to support the development of European energy, transport and climate policies. In particular, the following impact assessment schemes can be implemented using the indicators provided by the ASTRA model:


TRT Trasporti e Territorio


M-Five GmbH


Fraunhofer Isi