Consider stakeholder outreach and education, transport modes that offer an alternative to driving, performance measurement, and area geography with high importance in the planning phase for road pricing programs.

Experience from road pricing programs in Europe and Asia

London,England; Stockholm,Sweden; Singapore; Czech Republic; Germany; The Hague,Netherlands

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

Congestion pricing programs face political, institutional, and public acceptance challenges and concerns everywhere in the world. Over a 12-day period, from December 7 to 18, 2009, a multidisciplinary scan team from the United States interacted with the experts in Europe and Asia to develop an understanding of factors that contributed to the successful implementation of road pricing. Based on their international experience, the scan team offered the following lessons learned on addressing issues related to planning, performance measurement, and site geography.
  • Address stakeholder education and outreach, and stakeholder management comprehensively in the planning process.

    The Netherlands: The Dutch have studied distance-based charging and engaged key stakeholders on the subject several times since the 1980s. Recent implementation planning in the Netherlands involved extensive outreach during the system design and development process with a wide range of public agencies, private interests, and industry user groups. The Dutch provided significant funding for implementation research in a US$150 million congestion mitigation program.

    Singapore: Singapore, on the other hand, used grassroots representatives to gauge public sentiment before expanding the charge to the Orchard Area shopping district and expressways. Consultation typically starts with core stakeholders and later reaches out to the public through communications programs.
  • Consider comprehensive network planning and performance measures as integral to pre-implementation efforts, as well as ongoing system management.

    Sweden, The Netherlands: Most sites use advanced analytics and traffic models to better understand the network impacts of pricing on parking, transit, and system diversion issues. In planning the Stockholm system, internationally recognized traffic experts were retained to measure network effects of various configurations of the charging zone to ensure that there were no unintended effects outside the congestion-charging zone. Similarly, the Netherlands has also undertaken comprehensive planning exercises to look at network effects across several modes.

    Singapore: Singapore’s ongoing management of its congestion charge includes quarterly verification of travel speeds and refinement of prices to ensure that 85th percentile travel speed standards are maintained on two different classes of roadways.
  • Develop and integrate transport options that allow alternatives to driving in the road pricing program planning.

    London, Singapore, and Stockholm: These cities made significant investments in transit to ensure that those impacted by the new road-user fees would have alternatives to driving. Such plans provided adequate capacity and service levels to ensure balanced transportation network demand, and limited minimal impacts to mobility and businesses with urban charging zones. When provisions of modal alternatives to driving are not feasible, several pricing programs have employed exemptions or discounts to the road-user charge. Stockholm exempted Lidingö Island residents who pass through the city center to access the national highway network from the congestion tax. Similarly, residents in the central London and western extension charging zones enjoy a 90 percent discount on the congestion charge.
  • Understand that Geography plays a role in the design and business rules of pricing programs.

    Stockholm: Stockholm’s city center is an island with well-defined access points that served to define roadside equipment locations and customer understanding of the limits of the charging zone.

    Germany, Czech Republic: Both Germany and the Czech Republic are central to European goods movement, handling high volumes of out-of-country movements on their national highways. Pricing system designs and business rules were established specifically to meet objectives for both native and foreign truckers.

    Singapore: Singapore is an island city-state with limited land available for development and economic expansion. As a consequence, Singapore has instituted regulations and planning processes to target specific land uses, encourage high-density development linked to transit, and manage the demand for new vehicles through its vehicle quota service.

    London: A public consultation process preceded the London congestion charge, leading to many exemptions from the charge. A public consultation held after Mayor Boris Johnson took office recommended discontinuing the congestion charging in London’s western extension.
Road pricing programs implemented in Europe and Asia offer important lessons on exploring the use of market-based approaches to address traffic congestion and improve mobility. Planning for successful road pricing program must include adequate consideration of stakeholder outreach and education, transport modes that offer an alternative to driving, performance measurement, and area geography.

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Reducing Congestion and Funding Transportation Using Road Pricing In Europe and Singapore

Author: Robert Arnold, Vance C. Smith, John Q. Doan, Rodney N. Barry, Jayme L. Blakesley, Patrick T. DeCorla-Souza, Mark F. Muriello, Gummada N. Murthy, Patty K. Rubstello, Nick A. Thompson

Published By: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT

Source Date: 12/01/2010

URL: http://international.fhwa.dot.gov/pubs/pl10030/pl10030.pdf

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Benefits From This Source

After implementation of the congestion charge in London, the number of vehicles entering the charging zone decreased by 25 percent, travel speeds increased by 30 percent, trip times decreased by 14 percent, and traffic delays plummeted by 25 percent.

In Germany, vehicle-miles traveled using cleaner trucks (Euro 4 and 5) rose 60 percent from 2 percent in 2005 to over 62 percent in 2009 because of the nationwide heavy-goods-vehicle tolling program.

In Singapore, the Electronic Road Pricing program has enabled maintaining target speeds of 45 to 65 kilometers per hour on expressways and 20 to 30 kilometers per hour on arterials.

The Stockholm congestion tax project reduced traffic congestion by 20 percent and vehicle emissions by 10 to 14 percent in the Central Business District.

Lessons From This Source

Be prepared to face the opportunities and challenges posed by political timetables, project deadlines, as well as pricing-equity issues for road pricing procurement and implementation.

Beware that schedule and costs of road pricing projects are affected by various factors including legislative outcomes, clarity and specificity of scope, and contracting methods.

Consider advantages of open-source designs and beware of legal challenges in road pricing systems procurement.

Consider stakeholder outreach and education, transport modes that offer an alternative to driving, performance measurement, and area geography with high importance in the planning phase for road pricing programs.

Create performance standards for operational effectiveness of a pricing program, define business rules for back-office operations, and refine operations practices based on needs.

Define clear goals and pay attention to key institutional and technical factors for successful implementation of road pricing programs.

Develop a statutory and legal framework for as a foundational step for levying road pricing fees and utilizing revenues.

Develop public outreach programs based on the cultural and political context of the project location and provide clear, salient, and timely messages about the purpose and benefits of congestion pricing.

Enforce congestion toll collection and create integration linkages between pricing system and motor vehicle registries to process violations.

For successful implementation of a road pricing program, strive for simplicity in policy goals and strong championing of the program by the executive and legislative leaders.

Understand that while the viability of pricing programs is impacted by political actions, pricing signal is a potential tool for developing a sustainable transportation system.

Use business and functional requirements to guide technology selection for a road pricing program and understand that the technology selected initially evolves over time.

Lesson ID: 2011-00573