Does driving-day-based tradable credit scheme outperform license plate rationing? Examination considering transaction cost

This article models a novel driving-day-based tradable credit scheme (DD-TCS) to alleviate urban traffic congestion. In this model, car-using allowances (in terms of the number of days in a month, termed as “credit”) are freely and uniformly allocated to all travellers, who are also allowed to trade them in a market according to his/her travel needs (e.g. driving more or fewer days than the free endowment). As opposed to most studies on TCS, this paper explicitly considers the transaction cost (e.g. information cost of finding potential traders) in the trading market. To assess the feasibility of DD-TCS, we compare it against the license plate rationing (LPR) scheme, which has been practically implemented in many cities such as Beijing and Chengdu in China. Taking the performance of LPR as a benchmark, we quantify the threshold values of the transaction cost in DD-TCS when the two schemes yield equivalent performance (in terms of the total generalized cost). In numerical studies, we also compare the DD-TCS and LPR with the no-action case and the congestion pricing case (representing the theoretical optimum). Results show that both DD-TCS and LPR outperform the no-action case under certain conditions. With small transaction cost, DD-TCS may achieve a lower system cost that can be very close to the ideal optimum. In addition, parameter analysis shows that DD-TCS performs better than LPR in a wide range of transaction cost, where the threshold values appear to account for a considerable portion of the auto travel time. This implies that DD-TCS will be more appealing than LPR in practice because a transaction cost lower than the extremely large threshold values can be easily achieved for the trading market, e.g. via a mobile platform and modern communication techniques.

  • Record URL:
  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • © 2019 Zhen Lian et al. The contents of this paper reflect the views of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Transportation Research Board or the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Authors:
  • Publication Date: 2019-9


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01726632
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 28 2019 3:06PM