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New York City's congestion pricing experience and implications for road pricing acceptance in the United States


  • Schaller, Bruce


Public acceptance is widely recognized as a major barrier to widespread adoption of road pricing in the United States and internationally. Using New York City as a case study, this paper analyzes how Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2007 congestion pricing proposal gained widespread public support but was ultimately blocked in the State Legislature. The paper assesses the implications of New York's experience for pursuing congestion pricing and mileage-based taxes in the United States. A central conclusion from this analysis is that gaining approval of pricing will require changing how motorists view the effect of pricing on them personally. Given the power of even small groups of auto users to block pricing through the political process, pricing proposals need to be perceived as benefiting drivers individually and not simply society at large. The paper discusses approaches to road pricing in light of New York City's experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Schaller, Bruce, 2010. "New York City's congestion pricing experience and implications for road pricing acceptance in the United States," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 266-273, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:17:y:2010:i:4:p:266-273

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eliasson, Jonas, 2008. "Lessons from the Stockholm congestion charging trial," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 395-404, November.
    2. de Palma, André & Lindsey, Robin & Niskanen, Esko, 2006. "Policy insights from the urban road pricing case studies," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 149-161, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Denvil Duncan & John Graham & Venkata Nadella & Ashley Bowers & Stacey Giroux, 2014. "Demand for Benefit Taxation: Evidence From Public Opinion on Road Financing," Public Budgeting & Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 120-142, December.
    2. Tørnblad, Silje H. & Kallbekken, Steffen & Korneliussen, Kristine & Mideksa, Torben K., 2014. "Using mobility management to reduce private car use: Results from a natural field experiment in Norway," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 9-15.
    3. Rey, David & Dixit, Vinayak V. & Ygnace, Jean-Luc & Waller, S. Travis, 2016. "An endogenous lottery-based incentive mechanism to promote off-peak usage in congested transit systems," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 46-55.
    4. Hysing, Erik, 2015. "Citizen participation or representative government – Building legitimacy for the Gothenburg congestion tax," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-8.
    5. Börjesson, Maria & Kristoffersson, Ida, 2014. "Assessing the welfare effects of congestion charges in a real world setting," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 339-355.
    6. Kim, Junghwa & Schmöcker, Jan-Dirk & Fujii, Satoshi & Noland, Robert B., 2013. "Attitudes towards road pricing and environmental taxation among US and UK students," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 50-62.
    7. Westin, Jonas & Franklin, Joel P. & Proost, Stef & Basck, Pierre & Raux, Charles, 2016. "Achieving political acceptability for new transport infrastructure in congested urban regions," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 286-303.
    8. Agarwal, Sumit & Koo, Kang Mo & Sing, Tien Foo, 2015. "Impact of electronic road pricing on real estate prices in Singapore," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 50-59.
    9. Khalilikhah, Majid & Habibian, Meeghat & Heaslip, Kevin, 2016. "Acceptability of increasing petrol price as a TDM pricing policy: A case study in Tehran," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 136-144.
    10. Souche, Stéphanie & Raux, Charles & Croissant, Yves, 2012. "On the perceived justice of urban road pricing: An empirical study in Lyon," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1124-1136.
    11. Vonk Noordegraaf, Diana & Annema, Jan Anne & van Wee, Bert, 2014. "Policy implementation lessons from six road pricing cases," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 172-191.
    12. Zheng, Zuduo & Liu, Zhiyuan & Liu, Chuanli & Shiwakoti, Nirajan, 2014. "Understanding public response to a congestion charge: A random-effects ordered logit approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 117-134.
    13. 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.
    14. Ahmadi Azari, Kian & Arintono, Sulistyo & Hamid, Hussain & Rahmat, Riza Atiq O.K., 2013. "Modelling demand under parking and cordon pricing policy," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-9.
    15. Yang, Di & Kastrouni, Eirini & Zhang, Lei, 2016. "Equitable and progressive distance-based user charges design and evaluation of income-based mileage fees in Maryland," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 169-177.
    16. Grisolía, José M. & López, Francisco & Ortúzar, Juan de Dios, 2015. "Increasing the acceptability of a congestion charging scheme," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 37-47.
    17. Astrid Gühnemann & Andrew Koh & Simon Shepherd, 2016. "Optimal Charging Strategies under Conflicting Objectives for the Protection of Sensitive Areas: A Case Study of the Trans-Pennine Corridor," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 199-226, March.
    18. Michael Manville & David King, 2013. "Credible commitment and congestion pricing," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 229-249, February.


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