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.

Experience from road pricing programs in Europe and Asia

London; England; Stockholm; Sweden; Singapore; Czech Republic; Germany

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 challenges resulting from political timetable and pricing equity considerations.

Beware that political timetables and deadlines create opportunities and challenges for road pricing procurement and implementation.
  • Stockholm Experience. The Stockholm demonstration period was a prescribed timeframe in which the area-wide pricing system needed to be operational on a trial basis before the planned referendum. While the schedule created urgency for system delivery, it also caused problems because of legal challenges to the procurement. The Stockholm trial was delayed five (5) months from its original planned startup, requiring extraordinary effort by business consultants, the system integrator, and agency staff to deliver the system as a 7-month trial.
  • Czech Republic Experience. The Czech Republic also experienced a compressed delivery schedule because of procurement challenges. The system integrator and construction contractors had only nine (9) months to install and test the Czech truck tolling system.
  • Compressed Scheduling Opportunity and Challenge. Both Stockholm and Czech Republic examples above illustrate that expedited delivery of high-functioning and reliable pricing systems is possible. However, both Stockholm and the Czech Republic are managing systems that are expensive to operate and maintain. The Stockholm program is undergoing a multiyear program of business process and systems reengineering to reduce operating costs.
Address road pricing equity concerns and perceptions of fairness on multiple levels. Equity concerns are typically addressed via exemptions and discounts to the congestion charge, improvement of alternative transportation modes, as well as revenue reallocation.
  • Discount Pricing in Stockholm and London. Traffic passing through Stockholm’s city center is exempt from the congestion tax to ensure that residents of Lidingö Island have access to the national highway network. Among its various discounts, London also maintains a 90 percent discount for residents in the central London congestion charging zone.
  • Alternative Modes in London, Singapore and Stockholm. In London, Singapore, and Stockholm, where demand management was a prime objective for urban road pricing, significant investments in transit were made in tandem with the implementation of the road pricing program to ensure viable options to driving. Furthermore, the net revenues, directly or indirectly, are used to fund future multimodal enhancements.
  • Revenue reallocation in Germany and Singapore. The use of revenue has been another means of addressing equity and perceptions of fairness. In Germany, a truck harmonization fund created from road pricing revenue pays for new truck equipment and training for cargo haulers. In Singapore, net revenues not invested in transportation projects are returned to motorists through rebates in vehicle taxes.
Road pricing programs in Europe and Asia offer important lessons on exploring the use of market-based approaches to address traffic congestion and improve mobility. For successful implementation, the program/project managers should be prepared to face the challenges posed by political timetables as well as pricing-equity issues.

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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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Lesson of the Month for August, 2011 !

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: 2011-00566