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Hypercongestion in downtown metropolis

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  • Fosgerau, Mogens
  • Small, Kenneth E.

Abstract

Engineering studies demonstrate that traffic in dense downtown areas obeys a stable functional relationship between average speed and density, including a region of 'hypercongestion' where flow decreases with density. This situation can be described as queuing behind a bottleneck whose capacity declines when the queue is large. We combine such a variable-capacity bottleneck with Vickrey scheduling preferences for the special case where there are only two possible levels of capacity. Solving the model leads to several new insights, including that the marginal cost of adding a traveler is especially sensitive to the lowest level of capacity reached. We analyze an optimal toll, a coarse toll, and metering, showing substantial benefits from using these policies to eliminate the period of reduced capacity. Under hypercongestion, all of these policies can be designed so that travelers gain even without considering any toll revenues.

Suggested Citation

  • Fosgerau, Mogens & Small, Kenneth E., 2012. "Hypercongestion in downtown metropolis," MPRA Paper 43411, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:43411
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Henderson, J. Vernon, 1981. "The economics of staggered work hours," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 349-364, May.
    2. Fosgerau, Mogens, 2011. "How a fast lane may replace a congestion toll," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(6), pages 845-851, July.
    3. Laih, Chen-Hsiu, 1994. "Queueing at a bottleneck with single- and multi-step tolls," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 197-208, May.
    4. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1993. "A Structural Model of Peak-Period Congestion: A Traffic Bottleneck with Elastic Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 161-179, March.
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    6. Yang, Hai & Hai-Jun, Huang, 1997. "Analysis of the time-varying pricing of a bottleneck with elastic demand using optimal control theory," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 425-440, November.
    7. Arnott, Richard & de Palma, Andre & Lindsey, Robin, 1990. "Economics of a bottleneck," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 111-130, January.
    8. Geroliminis, Nikolas & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2008. "Existence of urban-scale macroscopic fundamental diagrams: Some experimental findings," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 759-770, November.
    9. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
    10. Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-479, June.
    11. Nikolas Geroliminis & David Levinson, 2008. "Cordon pricing consistent with the physics of overcrowding," Working Papers 000038, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    12. Shen, Wei & Zhang, H.M., 2010. "Pareto-improving ramp metering strategies for reducing congestion in the morning commute," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 676-696, November.
    13. Chen-Hsiu Laih, 2004. "Effects of the optimal step toll scheme on equilibrium commuter behaviour," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 59-81.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Adler, Martin W. & van Ommeren, Jos N., 2016. "Does public transit reduce car travel externalities? Quasi-natural experiments' evidence from transit strikes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 106-119.
    2. Fosgerau, Mogens, 2015. "Congestion in the bathtub," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 241-255.
    3. van den Berg, Vincent A.C., 2012. "Step-tolling with price-sensitive demand: Why more steps in the toll make the consumer better off," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1608-1622.
    4. Daganzo, Carlos F & Lehe, Lewis J, 2014. "Distance-dependent Congestion Pricing for Downtown Zones," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt9vz1b9rs, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    5. repec:eee:transe:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:261-285 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Liu, Wei & Geroliminis, Nikolas, 2016. "Modeling the morning commute for urban networks with cruising-for-parking: An MFD approach," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 93(PA), pages 470-494.
    7. Small, Kenneth A., 2015. "The bottleneck model: An assessment and interpretation," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 110-117.
    8. Arnott, Richard, 2013. "A bathtub model of downtown traffic congestion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 110-121.
    9. Richard Arnott & Anatolii Kokoza & Mehdi Naji, 2016. "A Model of Rush-Hour Traffic Dynamics in an Isotropic Downtown Area," Working Papers 201612, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
    10. Monchambert, Guillaume & de Palma, André, 2014. "Public transport reliability and commuter strategy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 14-29.
    11. repec:eee:transb:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:215-237 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00827972 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Daganzo, Carlos F. & Lehe, Lewis J., 2015. "Distance-dependent congestion pricing for downtown zones," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 89-99.
    14. Arnott, Richard & Kokoza, Anatolii & Naji, Mehdi, 2016. "Equilibrium traffic dynamics in a bathtub model: A special case," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 7, pages 38-52.
    15. van den Berg, Vincent A.C., 2014. "Coarse tolling with heterogeneous preferences," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-23.
    16. Martin W. Adler & Jos N. van Ommeren, 2015. "Does Public Transit reduce Car Travel Externalities?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-011/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    17. Geroliminis, Nikolas, 2015. "Cruising-for-parking in congested cities with an MFD representation," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 156-165.
    18. Richard J. Arnott & Anatolii Kokoza & Mehdi Naji, 2015. "A Model of Rush-Hour Traffic in an Isotropic Downtown Area," CESifo Working Paper Series 5465, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Jonathan D. Hall, 2015. "Pareto Improvements from Lexus Lanes: The effects of pricing a portion of the lanes on congested highways," Working Papers tecipa-548, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hypercongestion; congestion; road pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General

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