Since introducing Electronic Road Pricing in the late 90's, Singapore has reduced weekday traffic in the "Restricted Zone" by 24 percent, resulting in an increase in the average speed of 10 kilometers per hour.

August 2008

Summary Information

The report "Lessons Learned from International Experience in Congestion Pricing", prepared in August 2008, provides a summary of selected operational area wide congestion pricing projects outside the United States. This report provides findings and draws lessons from a sample of projects with the richest and most relevant experience, focusing on three comprehensive area wide projects: Singapore, London and Stockholm. Each received in-depth attention during planning, design, implementation and operational phases and have been monitored and evaluated carefully. These projects should be of particular interest now that several U.S. cities are beginning to examine similar area wide pricing strategies to address congestion, environmental, energy and funding problems in heavily congested downtown areas.

Research on acceptability is especially detailed in these international locations and provides valuable lessons for U.S. cities interested in pursuing such policies. The report concludes with overall findings and lessons related to travel, costs and revenues, equity and economic impacts, environmental impacts; and public acceptance. These projects have demonstrated that pricing can be an affective means of managing demand and generating revenues and can be politically and publicly acceptable.

Findings from Singapore

Singapore is an island nation with land area of 250 square miles. Its population has grown from 2.3 million in 1975 to 4.5 million (3.5 million in the city) in 2005. The number of vehicles grew from 275,000 in 1975 to 750,000 (430,000 cars) in 1998. Daily trips increased from 2.7 million in 1980 to 7.7 million in 2000. Sixty-three percent of these use public transportation.The central business area has limited street capacity and experienced heavy congestion as far back as in the early 1970s. In this context, Singapore started pursuing automobile demand management strategies in the early 1970s.

Singapore introduced an Area Licensing Scheme in the 70s for the central business district known as the "Restricted Zone" (RZ) that was in affect until 1998 when it introduced Electronic Road Pricing, still in affect today. Charges vary by time of day, location and type of vehicle entering the RZ and at three points along other motorways.

Through the years the Area Licensing Scheme continued to show significant improvements in traffic flow, virtually eliminating congestion inside the RZ. Once Electronic Road Pricing was introduced in 1998, weekday traffic entering the RZ has dropped 24 percent resulting in average speeds within the RZ increasing from 30-35 kilometers per hour to 40-45 kilometers per hour.

Over the past thirty years, the expansion of the congestion pricing program has been accompanied by major reforms and expansion in vehicle taxation policies as well as significant enhancements to public transportation services including introduction and expansion of mass rapid transit, light rail and bus systems.

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Lessons Learned From International Experience in Congestion Pricing - Final Report

Author: Kiran Bhatt, Thomas Higgins

Published By: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

Source Date: August 2008



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Benefit ID: 2010-00620