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Writing and Research in the Workplace

Economic concepts



"If engineering is about designing solutions to problems in a world of constraints and tradeoffs ... the best engineering solutions can emerge only in the context of market prices and market forces."
    – G. Bennett Stewart




How would you set the prices for these services?




"More than 100,000 texts from people looking for a safe journey home in a licensed minicab or taxi were sent to Cabwise in 2007, tripling the number of requests in the two years since its launch. By texting the word 'HOME' to the Cabwise number (60835), the location of a caller can be identified and they get one taxi and two local licensed minicab numbers sent straight to their mobile."

Source: Transport for London. (2008). Annual report and statement of accounts 2007/08. Retrieved November 29, 2008 from http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/TfL-annual-report-07-08.pdf




"Transport for London has been asked to examine the feasibility of setting up a bicycle hire scheme based on the successful 'Velib' initiative in Paris. The Velib scheme offers 10,000 bicycles sited at 750 hire-points around Paris, with plans for 20,000 bikes at 1,400 hire points by the end of the year. The bikes are available at any time of the day or night and cost the equivalentof 70p to hire for half an hour."

Source: Transport for London. (2008). Annual report and statement of accounts 2007/08. Retrieved November 29, 2008 from http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/TfL-annual-report-07-08.pdf




How would these services help Transport for London increase their revenue?




"For people who are considering purchasing a secondhand vehicle, and are looking for assurance that what they are buying has no outstanding Congestion Charge penalties, TfL launched an online 'penalty checker' service in September 2007."

Source: Transport for London. (2008). Annual report and statement of accounts 2007/08. Retrieved November 29, 2008 from http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/TfL-annual-report-07-08.pdf




"In 2007/08, TfL started the networkwide roll-out of its £117m iBus passenger information system, which is revolutionising the way bus services are delivered and monitored. The system uses wireless, satellite and networking technology to provide audio and visual information to bus passengers, drivers and controllers. The Intelligent Transport Society (ITS) for the UK presented London Buses with the 2007/08 Annual Award for Excellence for the iBus system."

Source: Transport for London. (2008). Annual report and statement of accounts 2007/08. Retrieved November 29, 2008 from http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/TfL-annual-report-07-08.pdf




"The directenquiries.com website enables visitors to personalise their route according to their individual needs. As well as route maps, the website details the number of steps, lifts, escalators, walking distances, ramps and platform to train gap width, so that people can decide their best possible route before travelling. The service also won the Travel Information and Marketing category in this year's London Transport Awards, where LU was also awarded with the prestigious title of Public Transport Operator of the Year."

Source: Transport for London. (2008). Annual report and statement of accounts 2007/08. Retrieved November 29, 2008 from http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/TfL-annual-report-07-08.pdf




"Dial-a-Ride continues to provide a valuable service for Deaf, disabled and older people who find it difficult to use mainstream public transport. In October, the Mayor announced that he was abolishing Dial-a-Ride fares. Since January 2008, around 50,000 older and disabled Londoners, who previously paid to take 1.2 million journeys a year, have been benefiting from this."

Source: Transport for London. (2008). Annual report and statement of accounts 2007/08. Retrieved November 29, 2008 from http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/TfL-annual-report-07-08.pdf




"A free Oyster photocard, called Zip, was launched in January for 11 to 18-year-olds who qualify for free bus and tram travel in the Capital. The new Zip card brings together the different young persons free travel schemes under one recognised branded card. It means that from 1 September 2008, young people will have to touch in when boarding buses and trams and show their photocards on request. This will clarify the free travel privilege and make it easier to catch those few individuals who seek to abuse the scheme. Since 1 April 2007, 500,000 children aged under 11 have been able to travel free all day, every day on the Tube and DLR when accompanied by an adult."

Source: Transport for London. (2008). Annual report and statement of accounts 2007/08. Retrieved November 29, 2008 from http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/TfL-annual-report-07-08.pdf




"In February 2008, TfL signed a leasing contract for its new London Overground fleet of electric trains. The contract gives TfL all the best features of a new train fleet, including reliability, extra capacity and an improved passenger experience, as well as greater flexibility about when TfL wishes to renew the trains in future. It also releases funds for further investment in London's transport network."

Source: Transport for London. (2008). Annual report and statement of accounts 2007/08. Retrieved November 29, 2008 from http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/corporate/TfL-annual-report-07-08.pdf




How do these objectives help British Airways increase their revenue?




"Reducing noise and emissions, through more efficient use of aircraft, ground operations and vehicle movements. This includes reduction in the use of aircraft auxiliary power units (APUs) on turnarounds, consolidating ground vehicle movements and logistics, improving the efficiency of surface transport for employees and passengers and upgrading our ground vehicle fleet to abate emissions."

"Exploiting innovative design for energy, water and waste management, including the installation and monitoring of energy and water efficient technologies, and utilisation of non-potable water where appropriate. We aim to incorporate best practise waste management, and maintain the principles of segregation at source for our key waste streams."

Source: British Airways. (2008). Corporate responsibility report 2004/05. Retrieved November 29, 2008 from http://www.britishairways.com/cms/b2c/ba.com/UK/content/company_information/community_and_environmental/corporate_responsibility/Corporate_Responsibility_Report_2005.pdf




Prices indicate resources used in production



Types of production resources




Prices indicate allocation priorities



Sources of allocation priorities




Prices indicate opportunity costs



Opportunity cost issues




Prices represent an aggregation of information



Prices represents an aggregation of information




What is an economic market?







An economic market is anywhere that buyers and sellers communicate



Additionally, markets may also:

Participants in a market may be local, regional or global.




Economic markets may be classified by these factors:


A competitive market is usually described as:

A monopoly is usually described as:





Is transportation a competitive market? Compare example organizations that are government agencies, limited companies and non-profit organizations.




Which type of market is likely to cause more damage to the environment, competitive or monopoly? Why?




Demand for a product or service is inversely related to its price



Price increase typically cause contraction of demandPrice decrease typically cause expansion of demand



Increase of demandDecrease of demand





Supply of a product or service is directly related to price



Price increase typically cause expansion of supplyPrice decrease typically cause contraction of supply



Increase of supplyDecrease of supply





There is a tendency for prices to move towards a theoretical intersection of demand and supply called the market equilibrium




Theoretical market equlibrium




Thomas Piketty – Capitalism and inequality




































Source: Piketty, T. (2014, Oct 6). New thoughts on capital in the twenty-first century [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKsHhXwqDqM