ITS pricing strategies can reduce traffic congestion and enhance the quality of service of buses.

International experience with congestion pricing

September 2009
Singapore; Singapore; London; England; Rome; Italy; Trondheim; Norway; Stockholm; Sweden

Summary Information

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.


ITS can improve the operational aspects of congestion pricing with minimal intrusion on traffic flow. The following data excerpted from Table 1 of the source highlight findings from several case studies that show congestion charging can improve traffic flow and increase the efficiency of public transportation systems.

Table 1 (Source: Button,K.J and H. Vega, Pricing Intelligent Transportation Systems: A Review, Report No. DTFH61-06-H-00014, U.S. DOT FHWA. 2007.)

CityTraffic effectsCongestion effectsPublic transport effects
Singapore, 1975-19981- 44%; -31% by 1988Average speed increased from 19 to 36 km/hModal Shift, from 33% to 46% trips to work by city bus, 69% in 1983
Trondheim, 1991-10 %n.a.+7% city bus patronage
Singapore, 19982-10 to -15%Optimized road usage, 20 to 30 km/h roads, 45 to 65 km/h expresswaysSlight shift to city bus
Rome, 2001-20 % n.a.+ 6%
London, 2003-18% 2003 vs 2002, 0% 2004 versus 2003-30%. 1.6 min/km typical delay 2003, 2004 versus 2002 (2.3 min/km) +18% during peak hours bus patronage 2003, +12% in 2004
London, 20053Small net reductions
- 4% 2005/06
- 22%. 1.8 min/km typical delay bus patronage steady
Stockholm, 2006- 30% 2006 versus 2004-30 to -50% journey time+ 6%
1Although called Area Licensing Scheme, the system was a cordon toll rather than an area license.
2 Electronic fee collection introduced.
3 New rate introduced.

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

Author: Button, Kenneth

Published By: U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration

Source Date: September 2009

Other Reference Number: DTFH61-06-H-00014


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Benefit ID: 2011-00689