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Inside the queue: hypercongestion and road pricing in a continuous time - continuous place model of traffic congestion

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  • Verhoef, Erik Teodoor

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Abstract

This paper develops a continuous time - continuous place model of road traffic congestion, based on car-following theory. The model fully integrates two archetype representations of traffic congestion technology, namely "flow congestion", originating in the works of Pigou, and "vertical queuing" models, pioneered by Vickrey. Because a closed-form analytical solution of the formal model does not exist, its behaviour is explored in a numerical exercise. In a setting with endogenous departure time choice and with a bottleneck halfway the route, it is shown that "hypercongestion" can arise as a dynamic - transitional and local - equilibrium phenomenon. Also dynamic toll schedules are explored. It is found that a toll rule based on an intuitive dynamic and space-varying generalization of the standard Pigouvian tax rule can hardly be improved upon. A naïve application of a toll schedule based on Vickrey´s bottleneck model, in contrast, performs much worse and actually even reduces welfare.

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File URL: http://www-sre.wu-wien.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa02/cd-rom/papers/068.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa02p068.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa02p068

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  1. Verhoef, Erik T., 2002. "Second-best congestion pricing in general networks. Heuristic algorithms for finding second-best optimal toll levels and toll points," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 707-729, September.
  2. Henderson, J. V., 1974. "Road congestion : A reconsideration of pricing theory," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 346-365, July.
  3. Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-79, June.
  4. Verhoef, Erik T., 1999. "Time, speeds, flows and densities in static models of road traffic congestion and congestion pricing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 341-369, May.
  5. Evans, Alan W, 1992. "Road Congestion: The Diagrammatic Analysis: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 211-17, February.
  6. Verhoef, Erik T., 2001. "An Integrated Dynamic Model of Road Traffic Congestion Based on Simple Car-Following Theory: Exploring Hypercongestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 505-542, May.
  7. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-60, May.
  8. Chu Xuehao, 1995. "Endogenous Trip Scheduling: The Henderson Approach Reformulated and Compared with the Vickrey Approach," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 324-343, May.
  9. Braid, Ralph M., 1989. "Uniform versus peak-load pricing of a bottleneck with elastic demand," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 320-327, November.
  10. Hiroshi Ohta, 2001. "Probing A Traffic Congestion Controversy: Density and Flow Scrutinized," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 659-680.
  11. Mun, Se-il, 1999. "Peak-Load Pricing of a Bottleneck with Traffic Jam," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 323-349, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Verhoef, Erik T., 2005. "Speed-flow relations and cost functions for congested traffic: Theory and empirical analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 39(7-9), pages 792-812.
  2. Arnott, Richard, 2013. "A bathtub model of downtown traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 110-121.
  3. Arnott, Richard & Inci, Eren, 2008. "The Stability of Downtown Parking and Traffic Congestion," MPRA Paper 11786, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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