The Impacts of Time of Day Pricing on Car User Behavior: Findings from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Initiative

In March 2001, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) implemented a new toll scheme that varied tolls based on time of day, payment technology used and vehicle type. This paper reports on findings from a study to assess the impacts of the PANYNJ time of day pricing Initiative on the behavior of passenger car users. A survey was conducted of 505 current and former regular users of PANYNJ toll facilities from Staten Island and New Jersey. Data was collected on socioeconomic characteristics, toll facilities used, and attributes of their most recent trips. Results showed that 7.4% of passenger trips changed behavior because of the time of day pricing initiative, and that demand is inelastic to tolls with elasticities in the range of −0.11 to −0.24. Individuals who changed behavior were more likely to be female, younger, have a lower education level and relatively smaller families than those who did not change behavior. Passenger car users who changed behavior responded to time of day pricing by adopting combinations of various strategies, including changes in facility usage, changes in time of travel, changes in the payment type, and changes in mode/occupancy. The most frequently cited behavioral response was to shift mode and maintain the original time of travel, instead of changing time of travel and maintaining the use of the passenger car. This reluctance to change travel schedules probably reflects the limited time of travel flexibility that, on average, was estimated to be 20.4 and 12.3 min for early and late arrival for work-related trips. Comprehensive policies, such as providing incentives or regulations to foster employers’ participation in flexible work hour programs, could be combined with time of day pricing to balance car traffic.


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  • Accession Number: 01345297
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 20 2011 11:23PM