Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How Can Congestion Pricing Reduce Traffic Congestion?

Chapter III: Win-Win Congestion Pricing - A Roadmap for an Effective and Socially-Conscious Congestion Pricing Strategy(pages 66- 92, Abdulhai, B. and Aboudina, A., Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario, Apr. 2013)
The report reviewed today provides a useful update and history of the development of road pricing and tolls world-wide with a focus on congestion in the Greater Toronto Area. The advent of dynamic pricing according to demand at peak time use is analysed.
road pricing
Key Quotes:

 “Toronto is currently one of the top ten most congested North American cities … congestion costs commuters in the GTHA $3.3billion per year. Looking ahead to 2031, this cost is expected to rise to $7.8 billion”

“The costs of congestion encountered by commuters each day are partly the result of the inefficiency in the way the independent and self-centred travel decisions of individuals interact and influence the transportation system.”

Highway 407 Express Toll Route (ETR) in Toronto, which was opened to traffic in 1997, is the world’s first all-electronic, barrier-free toll highway, in which tolls are charged based on vehicle type, distance driven, time of day, and day of week”

 “the main benefit of static marginal-cost congestion pricing is to achieve an optimum level of traffic flow by forcing travellers to pay the full cost of congestion externalities to society. Whereas, dynamic congestion models suggest that a main source of efficiency gains from optimal pricing would be the rescheduling of departure times (temporal distribution) from the trip origin.”
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