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Measuring Marginal Congestion Costs of Urban Transportation: Do Networks Matter?

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  • Safirova, Elena

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Gillingham, Kenneth

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 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

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-03-56.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-56

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Keywords: marginal congestion costs; congestion pricing; urban networks;

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  1. Parry, Ian W.H. & Bento, Antonio Miguel R., 1999. "Revenue recycling and the welfare effects of road pricing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2253, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
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  5. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2006. "Economics of Road Network Ownership," Working Papers 200908, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  6. 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.
  7. Dewees, Donald N, 1979. "Estimating the Time Costs of Highway Congestion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1499-1512, November.
  8. Parry, Ian & Harrington, Winston & Nelson, Per-Kristian & Safirova, Elena & Mason, Dave & Gillingham, Kenneth, 2003. "Welfare and Distributional Effects of Road Pricing Schemes for Metropolitan Washington, DC," Discussion Papers dp-03-57, Resources For the Future.
  9. 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.
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  17. Erik T. Verhoef & Kenneth A. Small, 1999. "Product Differentiation on Roads: Second-Best Congestion Pricing with Heterogeneity under Public and Private Ownership," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-066/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  18. 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. Safirova, Elena A. & Houde, Sébastien & Harrington, Winston, 2007. "Spatial Development and Energy Consumption," Discussion Papers dp-07-51, Resources For the Future.
  2. Nelson, Per-Kristian, 2004. "Emissions Trading with Telecommuting Credits: Regulatory Background and Institutional Barriers," Discussion Papers dp-04-45, Resources For the Future.
  3. 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.
  4. Carlos Pestana Barros & Peter Dieke, 2008. "Choice Valuation of Traffic Restrictions: Perspectives on Noise, Pollution and Congestion Preferences," Working Papers Department of Economics 2008/08, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  5. 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.
  6. Lei Zhang & David Levinson, 2006. "Economics of Road Network Ownership," Working Papers 200908, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Margaret Walls & Peter Nelson & Elena Safirova, 2005. "Telecommuting and environmental policy - lessons from the Ecommute program," ERSA conference papers ersa05p801, European Regional Science Association.
  10. Ian W.H. Parry, 2009. "Pricing Urban Congestion," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 461-484, 09.
  11. Houde, Sébastien & Safirova, Elena A. & Harrington, Winston, 2007. "Washington START Transportation Model," Discussion Papers dp-07-43, Resources For the Future.

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