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What Local Policy Makers Should Know about Urban Road Charging: Lessons from Worldwide Experience

Authors


Daniel Albalate is a lecturer in economics at the University of Barcelona. His research interests include public sector reform, privatization and regulation, infrastructure, and urban transportation. He has published articles in international journals such as the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Transportation Research-A, and Governance.
E-mail:albalate@ub.edu

Germà Bel is a professor of economics at the University of Barcelona and a guest professor at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. His research interests include public sector reform, privatization and regulation, infrastructure, and urban development. He has published articles in international journals such as the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Public Choice, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Local Government Studies, Urban Studies, Journal of Urban Affairs, International Journal of Transport Economics, Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Transport Reviews, Public Administration; and Governance.
E-mail:gbel@ub.edu

Abstract

Congestion costs are emerging as one of the most important challenges faced by metropolitan planners and transport authorities in developed economies. In the United States, these costs were as high as $78 billion in 2005 and are growing as a result of rapid increases in travel delays. In order to solve the current and severe levels of congestion, the U.S. Department of Transportation has recently started a program to initiate congestion pricing in five metropolitan areas. In this context, it is important to identify factors that influence successful implementation, as well as the problems or difficulties associated with charging projects. The authors review, synthesize, and analyze worldwide experience with urban road charging in order to extract lessons for policy makers who are considering the implementation of congestion pricing projects and for those who are interested in the introduction of traffic management tools to regulate entrance to city centers.

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