IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A temporal and spatial equilibrium analysis of commuter parking


  • Arnott, Richard
  • de Palma, Andre
  • Lindsey, Robin


In major cities parking costs typically exceed automobile running costs, while the time to find a parking spot and walk to work can be comparable to driving time. Yet models of urban commuting have ignored parking completely. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of parking on morning rush hour congestion and to assess the relative merits of road tolls and parking fees as tools for congestion relief. The paper extends Vickrey's (1969) bottleneck road congestion model by assuming on-street parking is located along commuting routes radiating from the CBD. Absent pricing, drivers occupy parking spots in order of increasing distance from the CBD. Three pricing schemes are considered: 1) an optimal time-varying road toll, 2) competitively set parking fees, and 3) optimal location-dependent parking fees. The optimal road toll is shown to eliminate queueing, but does not affect the order in which parking spots are occupied. In contrast, competitive parking fees do nothing to reduce queueing , but induce drivers to park in order of decreasing distance from the CBD, so that in the aggregate commuters arrive at work closer to their preferred time. Optimal parking fees reduce queueing in addition to supporting the efficient order of parking. For reasonable parameter values competitively set parking fees are found to be relatively inefficient-indeed potentially welfare-reducing. Optimal parking fees, however, are generally superior to a road toll. In light of the logistical drawbacks of tolls and political opposition that road pricing has met, this suggests that parking fees deserve more attention than they have received in the literature.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1991. "A temporal and spatial equilibrium analysis of commuter parking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 301-335, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:45:y:1991:i:3:p:301-335

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lee, N & Dalvi, M Q, 1969. "Variations in the Value of Travel Time," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 37(3), pages 213-236, September.
    2. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1990. "Economics of a bottleneck," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 111-130, January.
    3. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
    4. Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-479, June.
    5. David W. Gillen, 1977. "Alternative Policy Variables to Influence Urban Transport Demand," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(4), pages 686-695, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Janusch, Nicholas, 2016. "A note on the distortionary effects of revenue-neutral tolls in a bottleneck congestion game," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 95-103.
    2. Wang, Wei (Walker) & Wang, David Z.W. & Zhang, Fangni & Sun, Huijun & Zhang, Wenyi & Wu, Jianjun, 2017. "Overcoming the Downs-Thomson Paradox by transit subsidy policies," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 126-147.
    3. Chen, Hongyu & Nie, Yu (Marco) & Yin, Yafeng, 2015. "Optimal multi-step toll design under general user heterogeneity," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 81(P3), pages 775-793.
    4. Anthony Ziegelmeyer & Frédéric Koessler & Kene Boun My & Laurent Denant-Boèmont, 2008. "Road Traffic Congestion and Public Information: An Experimental Investigation," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 42(1), pages 43-82, January.
    5. Yu Nie, 2015. "A New Tradable Credit Scheme for the Morning Commute Problem," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 719-741, September.
    6. Vincent A.C. van den Berg & Erik T. Verhoef, 2015. "Robot Cars and Dynamic Bottleneck Congestion: The Effects on Capacity, Value of Time and Preference Heterogeneity," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-062/VIII, Tinbergen Institute, revised 11 Jul 2016.
    7. Carrion, Carlos & Levinson, David, 2012. "Value of travel time reliability: A review of current evidence," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 720-741.
    8. John W Helsel & Venktesh Pandey & Stephen D. Boyles, 2020. "Time-Equitable Dynamic Tolling Scheme For Single Bottlenecks," Papers 2007.07091,
    9. Kenneth Small, 2015. "The Bottleneck Model: An Assessment and Interpretation," Working Papers 141506, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    10. Knockaert, Jasper & Verhoef, Erik T. & Rouwendal, Jan, 2016. "Bottleneck congestion: Differentiating the coarse charge," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 59-73.
    11. Zhong, Lin & Zhang, Kenan & (Marco) Nie, Yu & Xu, Jiuping, 2020. "Dynamic carpool in morning commute: Role of high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) and high-occupancy-toll (HOT) lanes," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 98-119.
    12. Liu, Louie Nan & McDonald, John F., 1999. "Economic efficiency of second-best congestion pricing schemes in urban highway systems," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 157-188, April.
    13. Nicolas Coulombel & André de Palma, 2014. "The marginal social cost of travel time variability," Post-Print hal-01100105, HAL.
    14. Takayama, Yuki, 2018. "Time-varying congestion tolling and urban spatial structure," MPRA Paper 89896, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Wilfredo Yushimito & Xuegang Ban & José Holguín-Veras, 2015. "Correcting the Market Failure in Work Trips with Work Rescheduling: An Analysis Using Bi-level Models for the Firm-workers Interplay," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 883-915, September.
    16. Li, Zhi-Chun & Lam, William H.K. & Wong, S.C., 2017. "Step tolling in an activity-based bottleneck model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 306-334.
    17. Brand, Christina & Sieg, Gernot, 2020. "The impact of delays on the welfare effects of on-track competition: The case of transfer passengers with operator-tied tickets," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    18. Jiang, Chenming & Bhat, Chandra R. & Lam, William H.K., 2020. "A bibliometric overview of Transportation Research Part B: Methodological in the past forty years (1979–2019)," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 268-291.
    19. Braid, Ralph M., 2018. "Partial peak-load pricing of a transportation bottleneck with homogeneous and heterogeneous values of time," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 29-41.
    20. Takayama, Yuki & Kuwahara, Masao, 2017. "Bottleneck congestion and residential location of heterogeneous commuters," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 65-79.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:45:y:1991:i:3:p:301-335. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nithya Sathishkumar). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.