CONGESTION TOLLS- AN ENGINEERS VIEWPOINT

A SYSTEM OF MOTOR-VEHICLE TAXES OR TOLLS COMMONLY KNOWN AS CONGESTION TOLLS, BASED ON THE CONCEPT THAT THE MARGINAL COSTS OF CONGESTION /OPERATING, TIME, AND ACCIDENT COSTS RESULTING FROM CONGESTED TRAFFIC/ SHOULD DETERMINE THE MAGNITUDE OF USER CHARGES IS PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION IN THE CENTRAL CITIES OF METROPOLITAN AREAS. THE CONCEPTS OF MARGINAL-COST PRICING AND THEIR PARTICULAR APPLICATION TO GOVERNMENT-PROVIDED SERVICES ARE REVIEWED AND THE FACT IS BROUGHT OUT THAT NUMEROUS ECONOMISTS DO NOT REGARD HIGHLY THIS METHOD OF PRICING GOVERNMENT SERVICES, AND EVEN CALL INTO QUESTION THE PRIMACY OF MARGINAL COSTS AS A DETERMINANT OF PRICES IN PRIVATE INDUSTRY. THE FORMULATIONS OF THOSE ADVOCATING CONGESTION-COST PRICING ARE THEN REVIEWED AND DISCUSSED. THE CONTENTION IS ADVANCED THAT A MODEL RELATING BENEFITS, COSTS, AND PRICES IN THE FORM OF USER TAXES AND TOLLS SHOULD BE A DYNAMIC MODEL, TAKING ACCOUNT OF VARIATIONS OVER TIME, RATHER THAN A STATIC MODEL EXPRESS- ONLY THE RELATIONSHIPS EXISTING AT ONE TIME. THE CURRENT STATUS AND PROSPECTS OF URBAN HIGHWAY FINANCE ARE EXAMINED, AND IT CONCLUDED THAT THE EXISTING COMBINATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE USER-TAX REVENUES WITH LOCAL REVENUES, IS ADEQUATE AND EFFICIENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINANCING PROGRAMS OF HIGHWAY AND STREET IMPROVEMENT. EXAMINATION OF THE NATURE OF URBAN HIGHWAY TRAFFIC, EVIDENCES OF IMPROVEMENT IN TRAVEL TIMES AND AVERAGE SPEEDS RESULTING FROM COMPLETION OF FREEWAYS AND IMPROVED TRAFFIC ENGINEERING, INDICATE THAT CONGESTION TOLLS WOULD MAKE NO SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO SOLUTION OF URBAN CONGESTING PROBLEMS. INCOME EFFECTS ARE DISCUSSED AND IT IS SHOWN THAT CONGESTION TOLLS DISCRIMINATE AGAINST THE LOW-INCOME MOTOR-VEHICLE USER. IN VIEW OF THIS SERIES OF ADVERSE FINDINGS IT IS CONCLUDED THAT CONGESTION TOLLS DO NOT PROMISE TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE SOLUTION OF URBAN CONGESTION PROBLEMS.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 66-112
  • Monograph Title: Traffic congestion as a factor in road-user taxation
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00200906
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 7 1994 12:00AM