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Why experience changes attitudes to congestion pricing: The case of Gothenburg

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  • Börjesson, Maria
  • Eliasson, Jonas
  • Hamilton, Carl

Abstract

Many cities have seen public support for congestion charges increase substantially after charges have been introduced. Several alternative explanations of this phenomenon have been suggested, but so far little evidence has been available to assess the relative importance of these explanations. We study attitudes to congestion pricing in Gothenburg before and after congestion charges were introduced in January 2013. Attitudes to the charges did indeed become more positive after the introduction, just as in previous cities. Using a two-wave postal survey, we separate contributions to the attitude change from a number of sources: benefits and costs being different than anticipated, use of hypothecated revenues, reframing processes, and changes in related attitudes such as attitudes to environment, equity, taxation and pricing measures in general. We conclude that the dominant reason for the attitude change is status quo bias, rather than any substantial changes in beliefs or related attitudes, although some of these factors also contribute. Contrary to a common belief, nothing of the attitude change is due to benefits being larger than anticipated.

Suggested Citation

  • Börjesson, Maria & Eliasson, Jonas & Hamilton, Carl, 2016. "Why experience changes attitudes to congestion pricing: The case of Gothenburg," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 1-16.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:85:y:2016:i:c:p:1-16
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2015.12.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Börjesson, Maria & Eliasson, Jonas & Hugosson, Muriel & Brundell-Freij, Karin, 2012. "The Stockholm congestion charges – five years on. Effects, acceptability and lessons learnt," Working papers in Transport Economics 2012:3, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
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    4. Eliasson, Jonas, 2008. "Lessons from the Stockholm congestion charging trial," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 395-404, November.
    5. Menezes, Flavio M., 2008. "An Introduction to Auction Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199275991.
    6. Börjesson, Maria & Eliasson, Jonas, 2014. "Experiences from the Swedish Value of Time study," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 144-158.
    7. Schade, Jens & Schlag, Bernhard, 2000. "Acceptability of Urban Transport Pricing," Research Reports 72, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Börjesson, Maria & Eliasson, Jonas & Hugosson, Muriel B. & Brundell-Freij, Karin, 2012. "The Stockholm congestion charges—5 years on. Effects, acceptability and lessons learnt," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 1-12.
    9. Charles Raux & Stéphanie Souche, 2004. "The Acceptability of Urban Road Pricing: A Theoretical Analysis Applied to Experience in Lyon," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 38(2), pages 191-215, May.
    10. Börjesson, Maria & Kristoffersson, Ida, 2015. "The Gothenburg congestion charge. Effects, design and politics," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 134-146.
    11. Alex Anas & Robin Lindsey, 2011. "Reducing Urban Road Transportation Externalities: Road Pricing in Theory and in Practice," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 66-88, Winter.
    12. Eliasson, Jonas & Jonsson, Lina, 2011. "The unexpected "yes": Explanatory factors behind the positive attitudes to congestion charges in Stockholm," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 636-647, August.
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    1. repec:eee:transa:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:35-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Börjesson , Maria & Kristoffersson, Ida, 2017. "The Swedish congestion charges: ten years on: - and effects of increasing charging levels," Working papers in Transport Economics 2017:2, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    3. Eliasson, Jonas, 2016. "Is congestion pricing fair? Consumer and citizen perspectives on equity effects," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1-15.
    4. repec:eee:juecon:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:31-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hess, Stephane & Börjesson, Maria, 2016. "Understanding attitudes towards congestion pricing: a latent variable investigation with data from four cities," Working papers in Transport Economics 2016:24, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Congestion pricing; Acceptability; Attitudes; Gothenburg;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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