Assure public acceptance prior to implementation of electronic congestion pricing solutions.
International experience with congestion pricing
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ITS Regional Integration: Task 6 (Pricing ITS) - Subtask 4 (Final Report)


The report ITS Regional Integration: Task 6 (Pricing ITS) - Subtask 4 (Final Report), published by the Federal Highway Administration, examined electronic congestion pricing as a type of road charging designed to reduce traffic congestion. Several examples of international programs implemented between 1975 and 2006 were examined to compare the overall benefits and costs of major road pricing schemes. In addition to synthesis findings, the report discussed a number of key engineering challenges and institutional issues.

Lessons Learned

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.

ITS Regional Integration: Task 6 (Pricing ITS) - Subtask 4 (Final Report)

ITS Regional Integration: Task 6 (Pricing ITS) - Subtask 4 (Final Report)
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Button, Kenneth
U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration

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Goal Areas

Focus Areas Taxonomy: