Lesson

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.

Experience from road pricing programs in Europe and Asia


12/01/2010
Singapore; Germany; United Kingdom; 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 impacts of political considerations and pricing signal in developing a sustainable transportation system.
  • Beware that political considerations have impact on road pricing program’s sustainability.

    London. The western expansion of London’s congestion charging zone was championed by Mayor Ken Livingstone and made effective in 2007. In 2010, under the administration of Mayor Boris Johnson, the western expansion was repealed after a series of public consultations.

    Germany. Commitments from the German Parliament that HGV (heavy goods vehicle) toll revenues would augment roadway funding were not kept, which jeopardizes future prospects to price other vehicles based on distance traveled or emissions class.
  • Consider using the power of pricing signal to build a sustainable transportation system.

    The Netherlands. The Dutch Ministry of Transport’s goal is to shift the cost from vehicle ownership to usage to create a more sustainable transportation system.

    Germany. The Germans have adopted a user-pays principle for freight haulers. In addition, by having a graduated toll schedule for cleaner trucks, they have seen a 60 percent shift away from the Euro 1, 2, and 3 emission-level trucks to the cleaner Euro 4 and 5 emission-level trucks.

    Singapore. Singapore estimates that its gas tax would need to be raised by SG$3 to achieve the same traffic reduction that a SG$1 increase in its ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) system because of the transparency and direct price signal of the system.
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. European and Asian experience shows that while sustainability of road pricing programs is impacted by politics, pricing signal can be a potential tool for developing a sustainable transportation system.


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Source

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: 2011-00594