Although the report presented evaluation data from a variety of ITS projects involving electronic congestion pricing, the primary focus of was on policy challenges and public acceptance.
- Assure public acceptance prior to implementing electronic road pricing solutions. Acceptance by a large coalition of interested parties is needed for any ITS electronic congestion charging plan to be accepted. Public acceptance is a good indicator that the selected congestion pricing strategy will be efficient and used in an optimal fashion.
- Explore potential for subsidies and develop agreements that enable private suppliers to price services above the marginal costs. Initial deployment costs of ITS infrastructure for congestion pricing are often high and cost recovery margins (profit) for operations can be minimal. A significant challenge is to deliver a pricing structure that will encourage optimal use of the system, cover fixed costs, and enable recovery of installation. In order to recover all costs and provide an incentive for private sector participation, subsidies may be required.
- Inform the public of charging polices to be applied and how ITS will be used to facilitate collection of fees. It is important that ITS improvements be perceived by the public as a "product." Travelers should have clear information on the services purchased when considering to use a priced roadway.
ITS solutions such as congestion pricing offer a way to better manage current infrastructure and reduce the need for additional physical capacity. Implementation of congestion pricing, however, presents several public policy and funding challenges. With adequate support at the local level, sufficient public outreach and political statesmanship, sustainable congestion pricing systems can be deployed.
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