CONGESTION PRICING - A FEDERAL REVIEW AND PREVIEW

The prospects for managing an aspect of the daily commute is being tested throughout the country. This testing is taking place as a result of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), which created the Congestion Pricing Pilot Program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The program's goal was to encourage the testing and evaluation of congestion pricing projects in different parts of the United States. With $30 million in projects underway in California, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon and New York, the impact of this federal investment is being seen. The high level of interest in the program led to the Pilot Program being reauthorized in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) as the Value Pricing Pilot Program. This paper outlines the structure of the Congestion Pricing Pilot Program, implementation strategies and an analysis of the impact of these strategies. Operational project results are highlighted and analyzed. The impact of feasibility studies is also considered. Lessons learned from FHWA's experience with the six year program are shared. Elements of the reauthorized Value Pricing Pilot Program are discussed. Among the findings of the paper from examining the feasibility and implementation of congestion pricing are: (1) congestion has to be seen as a problem; if not pricing proposals have little chance of success; (2) take time to include all interests; there are different perspectives on the potential effects of pricing solutions; (3) consider a full range of alternatives for addressing congestion as pricing is just one strategy; (4) estimating the potential impacts of pricing solutions is essential; (5) introduce congestion pricing as part of a package; and (6) focus on customer relations. Federal support can make it easier for State and local governments to introduce pricing as an approach to dealing with congestion. But for the near term, the prospects of areawide pricing remain elusive. Congestion pricing, variable or value pricing, is still an innovative way for meeting overall goals of improving mobility, productivity and the human and natural environment.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 63-78

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00793208
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 16 2000 12:00AM