Congestion Charging Around the World


Shaping urban traffic patterns through congestion charging: What factors drive success or failure? (27 page pdf, Research Institute of Applied Economics 2008)

Key Quotes:

“the costs derived from congestion for U.S. urban areas. .. less than 15 billion of dollars in 1982, and today represents almost 80 billion ..each dollar spent in highways only reduces road users congestion costs by 11 cents “

“The main intuition behind congestion charging is the internalization of negative externalities (time costs and delays) which are imposed to other road users by an

additional driver entering the road. The efficient allocation of traffic is met when the price payed by a road user equals the marginal cost generated to the rest of users. “

re: City of London congestion pricing

“right after the implementation private vehicles declined between 15% and 20%

in two weeks – 30% in the long run …50% of car reductions were transfers to public transportation, 25% were diverted around the charging cordon, 10% decided to use other private modes..Traffic speed improved within the restricted area achieving a 37% increase and delays during peak time dropped about 30% for private vehicles and 50% for buses…CO2 emissions declined in the charging zone by 16% “

re: Singapore congestion pricing

“traffic was reduced by more than 40% in the restricted area.. after urban charging introduction the share of private cars over total commuters declined from 48% to 29%..public transportation received the benefits from the measure by increasing its average speed ..its use increased about 20%.

re: Stockholm congestion pricing

“The reduction for the entire congestion charge periods over 24 hours was about 19% …. changed of transport mode by leaving private cars to use public transport, and the number of cars in the park-and-ride facilities grew a 23% as well… the reduction of emissions achieved can be determined between 8% and 14% in the inner-city…Greenhouse gas carbon dioxide also dropped by 40% in the inner city

1. Making road pricing acceptableone of the most important aspects of a congestion charging project is the use given to revenues and its political accountability.,.. the public is more prone to support environmental programs rather that traffic management reforms”

2. Equity effects of road charging.. consider the impact of the use given to the revenues in order to compare them with the net welfare surplus…charging revenues must be re-invested in the transport system in order to overcome equity concerns favouring the low-income groups of citizens.

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