Congestion pricing involves charging vehicles to enter highly congested urban areas, usually during peak travel times with the goal of curbing vehicle travel demand and avoiding having to build additional roadway infrastructure. Cities typically use electronic tolling to collect the fees and monitor congestion. Several cities such as Stockholm, London, and Singapore have successfully implemented congestion pricing schemes and now other cities such as New York City (NYC) are actively considering implementing congestion pricing.
To better understand how congestion pricing might affect vehicle miles traveled (VMT), trip making activity, and air pollution in NYC, a research team from The City College of New York and Cornell University developed an activity-based travel demand model of congestion pricing in NYC. The team used the well-established New York Best Practices Model (NYBPM) along with data about potential cordon pricing to develop their travel demand model.
Key findings from the study:
- Congestion pricing could reduce traffic delays by 15 to 32 percent depending on the exact toll levied
- Congestion pricing could reduce VMT by 5 to 14 percent again depending on the exact toll levied
- Congestion pricing could reduce particulate matter pollution by up to 17.5 percent.