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The demand curve under road pricing and the problem of political feasibility

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  • Lave, Charles
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    Abstract

    Road pricing is widely advocated as a solution to congestion problems. The underlying theory is well developed, and we even have the technology to implement it without toll booths. Only political barriers remain: Decision makers are reluctant to retrofit tolls on existing highways because they do not know what circumstances might make such an action acceptable to the public. This paper develops a graphical model that displays the interaction between road capacity, user demand, travel speed and toll charges. The model is then used to analyze the sources of public resistance to road pricing. Might the potential response to road pricing be predicted using data from the new toll roads now being built around the United States? Our model shows it cannot: Political success depends on the demand characteristics at the right-hand side of the demand curve, while toll road data only trace out the left-hand side of the curve. Our model also shows situations where the new toll roads are likely to generate public anger. The Appendix discusses an experimental design that uses unobtrusive measures to assess the effect of a transportation project.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 28 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 83-91

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:28:y:1994:i:2:p:83-91

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    Cited by:
    1. Erik Verhoef, 1997. "Time, Speeds, Flows and Densities in Static Models of Road Traffic Congestion and Congestion Pricing," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-070/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Claude Abraham & Alain Bonnafous & Daniel Chabanol & Marc Chabert & Yves Crozet & Christiane Dalmais, 2000. "Péage et financement d'infrastructures en milieu urbain - Lyon, les leçons d'un périphérique. Actes du colloque, 5-6 décembre 2000, Lyon (France)," Post-Print halshs-00200161, HAL.
    3. Erik Verhoef, 1997. "Time, Speeds, Flows and Densities in Static Models of Road Traffic Congestion and Congestion Pricing," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-070/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. repec:dgr:uvatin:2097070 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Michael J. Clay * & Patricia L. Mokhtarian, 2004. "Personal travel management: the adoption and consideration of travel‐related strategies," Transportation Planning and Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(3), pages 181-209, June.
    6. Verhoef, Erik, 1995. "The demand curve under road pricing and the problem of political feasibility: A comment," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 459-465, November.
    7. De Borger, Bruno, 2001. "Discrete choice models and optimal two-part tariffs in the presence of externalities: optimal taxation of cars," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 471-504, July.
    8. De Leon, Marycruz & Fullerton, Thomas M., Jr. & Kelley, Brian W., 2009. "Tolls, Exchange Rates, and Borderplex International Bridge Traffic," MPRA Paper 19861, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Johnston, Robert A. & Lund, Jay R. & Craig, Paul P., 1995. "Capacity-Allocation Methods for Reducing Urban Traffic Congestion," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9237z4p6, University of California Transportation Center.

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