Beyond Standard Zonal Congestion Pricing: A Detailed Impact Analysis

This study formulates three fundamental extensions of the standard optimal road use analysis: (1) considering fuel and emissions as variable costs, (2) maximizing the social welfare inside and outside the congestion zone simultaneously, and (3) accounting for time-of-day travel demand variations. Using Fresno, California, as case study, the author found several interesting results. (1) Although emissions costs are small relative to other variable travel costs, their impacts on the analysis are significant, especially during off-peak periods; for example, in the case study doubling emissions costs triples the optimal (although relatively small) welfare gain from a congestion charge. (2) Without spillover effects consideration, the analysis overestimates the optimal toll rate significantly and can even lead to a total social welfare loss, relative to no-charge conditions. (3) Policymakers should avoid applying a flat daily charge, which can even reduce system performance in off-peak hours.


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  • Accession Number: 01679074
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2018 2:05PM