AN EVALUATION OF COMMUTER TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES

A FRAMEWORK IS DEVELOPED TO EVALUATE VARIOUS SOLUTIONS THAT ARE PROPOSED TO ELIMINATE RUSH-HOUR CONGESTION. THE SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVES ARE GROUPED INTO THREE CATEGORIES: PRICE CHANGES, INSTITUTIONAL CHANGES, AND MISCELLANEOUS. TWO SETS OF CRITERIA ARE USED TO EVALUATE THE ALTERNATIVES: ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY AND VARIOUS INSTITUTIONAL CONSTRAINTS. IT IS ARGUED THAT BECAUSE OF THE SOCIAL COSTS THAT ARE EXTERNAL TO INDIVIDUAL ROAD USERS (I. E., CONGESTION, AIR POLLUTION, AND NOISE COSTS), ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY CAN BE ACHIEVED ONLY WHEN THE PRICE PAID BY ROAD USERS IS EQUAL TO THE MARGINAL SOCIAL COSTS FOR A GIVEN TIME, DIRECTION, MODE, AND ROUTE OF TRAVEL. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT, IN SPITE OF THE WIDE RANGE OF ALTERNATIVES THAT ARE CONSIDERED, ONLY A PRICING SCHEME THAT WOULD CONFRONT ROAD USERS WITH ALL OF THE MARGINAL SOCIAL COSTS OF TRAVEL BY MEANS OF SPECIAL TOLLS WOULD SATISFY THE EFFICIENCY CRITERION AND ALSO WOULD BE ADMINISTRATIVELY, ALTHOUGH NOT POLITICALLY, FEASIBLE. FAILURE OF A PRICING SCHEME TO SATISFY THE CRITERION OF POLITICAL FEASIBILITY AT THE PRESENT TIME DOES NOT IMPLY THAT THE PRECEPTS OF WELFARE ECONOMICS ARE IRRELEVANT. UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF THE EFFICIENT SOLUTION AND FOCUSING ON THE KEY RELATIONSHIPS SUGGEST MORE ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATIVES THAT COULD BE EXPECTED TO IMPROVE THE LEVEL OF EFFICIENCY (E. G., IMPROVED TRANSIT SERVICES, CAR POOLING, AND STAGGERED WORKING HOURS). IT ALSO RAISES THE QUESTION WHETHER THOSE CONCERNED WITH PLANNING AND ADMINISTERING TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS ADEQUATELY INFORM THE PUBLIC OF THE RANGE OF POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVES, AND OF THEIR RESPECTIVE COSTS AND BENEFITS. /AUTHOR/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 12-46
  • Monograph Title: Transportation pricing
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00201738
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 9 1970 12:00AM