Define clear goals and pay attention to key institutional and technical factors for successful implementation of 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

Over a 12-day period, from December 7 to 18, 2009, a multidisciplinary scan team from the United States visited and interacted with the experts in Europe and Asia to develop an understanding of the institutional and technical factors that contributed to the successful implementation of road pricing. Major lessons learned are:
  • Have a set of clearly defined goals. Host countries and regions with clearly defined and well-understood policy goals were able to achieve their targeted outcomes most effectively.
  • Consider a large-scale demonstration project. A large-scale road-pricing demonstration project is a powerful tool for building public acceptance, allowing people to experience the benefits of congestion pricing.
  • Measure the program performance. Thorough planning and performance measurement pay benefits in ensuring achievement of overall goals, managing the pricing program as an element of overall transportation system performance, and directing implementation and operations effectively.
  • Link the pricing structure to user benefits. Linking the pricing structure to the benefits received by the user contributes to public acceptance and helps avoid the potential negative impacts of traffic diversion.
  • Conduct an effective public outreach campaign. Public outreach and communications were key components of the program at every stage: before making the implementation decision, during the program design process, and during the operational phase.
  • Implement an open-source system. Open-source system designs offer long-term advantages by leveraging market competition to manage implementation and operations costs, ensure system flexibility and scalability, and establish a foundation for system interoperability.
  • Pay attention to interoperability. Interoperability among states and countries is recognized as a critical issue that needs to be addressed at high levels.
  • Address equity and privacy concerns. Equity and privacy concerns are addressed by host countries through exemptions, revenue use, technology, and business rules.
  • Integrate pricing program with transit investments and land use plan. The urban area pricing projects integrated public transit investments and land use planning to manage congestion.
Congestion mitigation is a central goal of the city-center urban road-pricing programs (e.g., Singapore, Stockholm) visited by the scan team. However, generally, road pricing was one element of a larger program of initiatives working collectively to address traffic congestion and its impacts. Road pricing programs that focus on traffic congestion have sustained traffic-reduction benefits improving mobility in the targeted geographic area.

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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: 2011-00564