PRICING THE USE OF THE AUTOMOBILE TO ACHIEVE ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY GOALS

Some of the physical characteristics of the congestion, pollution, and energy consumption problems are described, and qualitative implications of these characteristics for the design of pricing measures are discussed. An illustration of the potential differences among the effects of pricing measures designed to remedy each of the three automobile-related problems is presented. Some generally applicable conclusions are reached concerning the design of automobile pricing measures to reduce congestion, air pollution, and energy consumption. The results obtained in the quantitative illustration are summarized in a table. The results show that there can be significant differences among the automobile pricing approaches that are appropriate for treating the different problems. Optimal congestion charges for downtown travel, particularly peak period downtown travel, may have little effect on either air quality or energy consumption. Pricing measures designed to remedy localized violations of the carbon monoxide air quality standard may have little effect on either oxidant concentrations or energy consumption. The qualitative results also suggest that pricing techniques that are suitable for dealing with one type of automobile-related problem may not be suitable for resolving other auto-related problems. It is likely that no single pricing approach can achieve the appropriate degrees of control. Pricing approaches as well as other means of controlling automobile use are likely to be needed, and it will be necessary to make tradeoffs and compromises.

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    • This paper appeared in Transportation Research Board Special Report No. 181, Urban Transportation Economics. It contains proceedings of Five Workshops on Pricing Alternatives, Economic Regulations, Labor Issues, Marketing, and Government Financing Responsibilities held by Transportation Research Board. Sponsored by Office of the Secretary, Federal Highway Administration, and Urban Mass Transportation Administration of DOT; Environmental Protection Agency; and Federal Energy Administration. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Horowitz, Joel
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 21-25
  • Monograph Title: URBAN TRANSPORTATION ECONOMICS
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00176479
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 14 1982 12:00AM