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Political and Public Acceptability of Congestion Pricing: Ideology and Self Interest

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  • Harsman, Bjorn
  • Quigley, John M.

Abstract

Studies of the “stated preferences†of households generally report public and political opposition by urban commuters to congestion pricing. It is thought that this opposition inhibits or precludes tolls and pricing systems that would enhance efficiency in the use of scarce roadways. This paper analyzes the only case in which road pricing was decided by a citizen referendum on the basis of experience with a specific pricing system. The city of Stockholm introduced a toll system for seven months in 2006, after which citizens voted on its permanent adoption. We match precinct voting records to citizen commute times and costs by traffic zone, and we analyze patterns of voting in response to economic and political incentives. We document political and ideological incentives for citizen choice, but we also find that the pattern of time savings and incremental costs exerts a powerful influence on voting behavior. In this instance, at least, citizen voters behave as if they value commute time highly. When they have experienced first-hand the out-of-pocket costs and time-savings of a specific pricing scheme, they are prepared to adopt freely policies which reduce congestion on urban motorways.

Suggested Citation

  • Harsman, Bjorn & Quigley, John M., 2010. "Political and Public Acceptability of Congestion Pricing: Ideology and Self Interest," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt14n0h1nv, University of California Transportation Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt14n0h1nv
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    2. Chatman, Daniel G. & Manville, Michael, 2014. "Theory versus implementation in congestion-priced parking: An evaluation of SFpark, 2011–2012," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 52-60.
    3. Gonzales, Eric J., 2016. "Demand responsive transit systems with time-dependent demand: User equilibrium, system optimum, and management strategyAuthor-Name: Amirgholy, Mahyar," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 92(PB), pages 234-252.
    4. 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.
    5. Glaeser, Edward L., 2014. "Understanding housing: The intellectual legacy of John Quigley," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 3-12.
    6. Green, Colin P. & Heywood, John S. & Navarro, María, 2016. "Traffic accidents and the London congestion charge," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 11-22.
    7. Eliasson, Jonas, 2014. "The role of attitude structures, direct experience and reframing for the success of congestion pricing," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 81-95.
    8. Raphaël Lamotte & André De Palma & Nikolas Geroliminis, 2016. "Sharing the road: the economics of autonomous vehicles," Working Papers hal-01281425, HAL.
    9. Gonzales, Eric J., 2015. "Coordinated pricing for cars and transit in cities with hypercongestion," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 64-81.
    10. Pierre Basck & Charles Raux & Jonas Westin & Joel P. Franklin & Stef Proost, 2012. "CoAccept. Coordination politique et acceptabilité des péages routiers. Rapport final," Working Papers halshs-01707861, HAL.
    11. 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.
    12. Gibson, Matthew & Carnovale, Maria, 2015. "The effects of road pricing on driver behavior and air pollution," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 62-73.
    13. 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).
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Zheng, Siqi & Kahn, Matthew E. & Sun, Weizeng & Luo, Danglun, 2014. "Incentives for China's urban mayors to mitigate pollution externalities: The role of the central government and public environmentalism," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 61-71.
    17. Maennig, Wolfgang & Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. & Steenbeck, Malte, 2016. "Après nous le déluge? Direct democracy and intergenerational conflicts in aging societies," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145793, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    18. Damien Broussolle, 2011. "Le Peage Urbain : Une Source De Financement Acceptable ? Avec Une Application Au Cas De L’Agglomeration Strasbourgeoise," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2011-07, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
    19. Eliasson, Jonas, 2016. "Is congestion pricing fair? Consumer and citizen perspectives on equity effects," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1-15.
    20. Mullen, Caroline & Tight, Miles & Whiteing, Anthony & Jopson, Ann, 2014. "Knowing their place on the roads: What would equality mean for walking and cycling?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 238-248.
    21. Colin Green & John Spencer Heywood & Maria Navarro Paniagua, 2018. "Did the London Congestion Charge Reduce Pollution?," Working Papers 237385060, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    22. Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn & Weizeng Sun & Danglun Luo, 2013. "Incentivizing China's Urban Mayors to Mitigate Pollution Externalities: The Role of the Central Government and Public Environmentalism," NBER Working Papers 18872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Adriana Zapata Giraldo, 2016. "Aspectos Contemporáneos De La Negociación Nacional E Internacional," Books, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Facultad de Derecho, number 853.
    24. Michael Manville & David King, 2013. "Credible commitment and congestion pricing," Transportation, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 229-249, February.

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