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Measuring marginal congestion costs of urban transportation: Do networks matter?

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  • Safirova, Elena
  • Gillingham, Kenneth
  • Houde, Sébastien

Abstract

In determining the marginal cost of congestion, economists have traditionally relied upon directly measuring traffic congestion on network links, disregarding any "network effects," since the latter are difficult to estimate. While for simple networks the comparison of the network-based congestion costs with the link-based ones can be done within a theoretical framework, it is important to know whether such network effects in real large-scale networks are quantitatively significant. In this paper we use a strategic transportation planning model (START) to compare marginal congestion costs computed link-by-link with measures taking into account network effects. We find that while in aggregate network effects are not significant, congestion measured on a single link is a poor predictor of total congestion costs imposed by travel on that link. Also, we analyze the congestion proliferation effect on the network to see how congestion is distributed within an urban area.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 41 (2007)
Issue (Month): 8 (October)
Pages: 734-749

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Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:41:y:2007:i:8:p:734-749

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References

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  1. Santos, Georgina, 2004. "11. Urban Road Pricing In The U.K," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 251-282, January.
  2. DeCorla-Souza, Patrick, 2004. "12. Recent U.S. Experience: Pilot Projects," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 283-308, January.
  3. Dewees, Donald N, 1979. "Estimating the Time Costs of Highway Congestion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1499-1512, November.
  4. Jenelius, Erik & Petersen, Tom & Mattsson, Lars-Göran, 2006. "Importance and exposure in road network vulnerability analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 537-560, August.
  5. Parry, Ian & Bento, Antonio, 1999. "Revenue Recycling and the Welfare Effects of Road Pricing," Discussion Papers dp-99-45, Resources For the Future.
  6. Liu, Louie Nan & McDonald, John F., 1998. "Efficient Congestion Tolls in the Presence of Unpriced Congestion: A Peak and Off-Peak Simulation Model," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 352-366, November.
  7. Safirova, Elena A. & Houde, Sébastien & Lipman, D. Abram & Harrington, Winston & Bagliano, Andrew D., 2006. "Congestion Pricing: Long-Term Economic and Land-Use Effects," Discussion Papers dp-06-37, Resources For the Future.
  8. Verhoef, Erik Teodoor & Small, Kenneth A., 1999. "Product Differentiation on Roads: Second-Best Congestion Pricing with Heterogeneity under Public and Private Ownership," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa358, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Safirova, Elena & Gillingham, Kenneth & Parry, Ian & Nelson, Peter & Harrington, Winston & Mason, David, 2004. "8. Welfare And Distributional Effects Of Road Pricing Schemes For Metropolitan Washington Dc," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 179-206, January.
  10. Hanna Armelius, 2005. "An Integrated Approach to Urban Road Pricing," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 39(1), pages 75-92, January.
  11. Inge Mayeres & Stef Proost, 1998. "Marginal Tax Reform, Externalities and Income Distribution," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces9832, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  12. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2006. "Economics of Road Network Ownership," Working Papers 200908, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  13. Richard Arnott & An Yan, 2000. "The Two-Mode Problem: Second-Best Pricing and Capacity," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 474, Boston College Department of Economics.
  14. Georgina Santos, 2004. "Urban Congestion Charging: A Second-Best Alternative," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 38(3), pages 345-369, September.
  15. Daniel J. Graham & Stephen Glaister, 2006. "Spatial Implications of Transport Pricing," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 40(2), pages 173-201, May.
  16. Yang, Hai & Huang, Hai-Jun, 1998. "Principle of marginal-cost pricing: how does it work in a general road network?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 45-54, January.
  17. Newbery, David M, 1990. "Pricing and Congestion: Economic Principles Relevant to Pricing Roads," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 22-38, Summer.
  18. Ramjerdi, Farideh & Minken, Harald & Østmoe, Knut, 2004. "10. Norwegian Urban Tolls," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 237-249, January.
  19. de Palma, André & Kilani, Moez & Lindsey, Robin, 2005. "Congestion pricing on a road network: A study using the dynamic equilibrium simulator METROPOLIS," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(7-9), pages 588-611.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ian W.H. Parry, 2009. "Pricing Urban Congestion," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 461-484, 09.
  2. Rotaris, Lucia & Danielis, Romeo & Marcucci, Edoardo & Massiani, Jérôme, 2010. "The urban road pricing scheme to curb pollution in Milan, Italy: Description, impacts and preliminary cost-benefit analysis assessment," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 359-375, June.
  3. Margaret Walls & Peter Nelson & Elena Safirova, 2005. "Telecommuting and environmental policy - lessons from the Ecommute program," ERSA conference papers ersa05p801, European Regional Science Association.
  4. repec:ise:isegwp:wp82008 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Safirova, Elena A. & Houde, Sébastien & Harrington, Winston, 2007. "Spatial Development and Energy Consumption," Discussion Papers dp-07-51, Resources For the Future.
  6. Safirova, Elena A. & Houde, Sébastien & Harrington, Winston, 2008. "Marginal Social Cost Pricing on a Transportation Network: Comparison of Second-Best Policies," Discussion Papers dp-07-52, Resources For the Future.
  7. Safirova, Elena A. & Houde, Sébastien & Lipman, D. Abram & Harrington, Winston & Bagliano, Andrew D., 2006. "Congestion Pricing: Long-Term Economic and Land-Use Effects," Discussion Papers dp-06-37, Resources For the Future.
  8. Nelson, Per-Kristian, 2004. "Emissions Trading with Telecommuting Credits: Regulatory Background and Institutional Barriers," Discussion Papers dp-04-45, Resources For the Future.
  9. Houde, Sébastien & Safirova, Elena A. & Harrington, Winston, 2007. "Washington START Transportation Model," Discussion Papers dp-07-43, Resources For the Future.
  10. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2006. "Economics of Road Network Ownership," Working Papers 200908, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  11. Bilbao-Ubillos, Javier, 2008. "The costs of urban congestion: Estimation of welfare losses arising from congestion on cross-town link roads," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1098-1108, October.

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