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167822-1 Report Abstract

Credit Based Congestion Pricing: A Policy Proposal and the Public’s Response

Kara M. Kockelman and Sukumar Kalmanje, University of Texas at Austin, October 2003, 34 pp. (167822-1)

Credit-based congestion pricing (CBCP) is a novel strategy proposed here. A revenue-neutral policy where road tolls are based on the negative externalities associated with driving under congested conditions, its generated tolls are returned to all licensed drivers in a uniform fashion, as a sort of driving “allowance”. Essentially, the “average” driver pays nothing, while frequent long-distance peak-period drivers subsidize others, in effect paying them to stay off congested roads. In order to anticipate initial public response to a CBCP policy, 500 individuals completed a detailed survey regarding perceptions of, and likely travel reactions to, such a policy. Weights were developed to correct for survey biases in gender, age and household income. Analytical results suggest that 25% support this new strategy, and support is strongly related to familiarity with the concept of congestion pricing. Respondent estimates of congested travel times to work or school almost double the uncongested times. Longer-term residents and retired people consider congestion to be more of an issue. Values of travel time vary greatly across respondents, as does trip flexibility. Those without children, younger respondents, and those with fewer vehicles appear more willing to support such a policy and more likely to modify their travel behaviors. The survey results corroborate the potential of a CBCP policy to alleviate congestion and generate benefits across income groups and traveler types.

Keywords: Credit-Based Congestion Pricing, Tolls, Peak-Period Driving

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 164 KBytes)