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Congestion Modelling


  • C. Robin Lindsey

    (University of Alberta)

  • Erik T. Verhoef

    () (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)


Transportation researchers have long struggled to find satisfactory ways ofdescribing and analysing traffic congestion, as evident from the large numberof often competing approaches and models that have been developed. This paperaims to provide a review of the literature on this topic. The paper startswith the modelling of homogeneous traffic flow and congestion on an isolatedroad under stationary conditions. We set up the supply-demand framework usedto characterize equilibrium and optimal travel volumes. Next, an overview ofmacroscopic and microscopic models of nonstationary traffic flow is given. Wethen describe how trip timing can be modelled, and discuss the essence ofdynamic equilibrium. The paper next reviews the principles of static anddynamic equilibrium on a road network in a deterministic environment, and thenidentifies equilibrium concepts that account for stochasticity in demand andcapacity. Finally, conceptual and practical issues regarding congestionpricing and investment on a network will be addressed.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Robin Lindsey & Erik T. Verhoef, 1999. "Congestion Modelling," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-091/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:19990091

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Verhoef, Erik T. & Rouwendal, Jan & Rietveld, Piet, 1999. "Congestion Caused by Speed Differences," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 533-556, May.
    2. Hazelton, Martin L., 1998. "Some Remarks on Stochastic User Equilibrium," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 101-108, February.
    3. Verhoef, Erik & Nijkamp, Peter & Rietveld, Piet, 1996. "Second-Best Congestion Pricing: The Case of an Untolled Alternative," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 279-302, November.
    4. Richard Arnott & Marvin Kraus, 1995. "Self-Financing of Congestible Facilities in a Growing Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 304., Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. Verhoef, Erik T., 1999. "Time, speeds, flows and densities in static models of road traffic congestion and congestion pricing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 341-369, May.
    7. Glazer, Amihai & Niskanen, Esko, 1992. "Parking fees and congestion," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 123-132, March.
    8. Small, Kenneth A., 1992. "Using the Revenues from Congestion Pricing," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt32p9m3mm, University of California Transportation Center.
    9. Cassidy, Michael J. & Bertini, Robert L., 1999. "Some traffic features at freeway bottlenecks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 25-42, February.
    10. Wie, Byung-Wook & Tobin, Roger L., 1998. "Dynamic congestion pricing models for general traffic networks," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 313-327, June.
    11. Vickrey, William S, 1969. "Congestion Theory and Transport Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 251-260, May.
    12. Daganzo, C. F. & Cassidy, M. J. & Bertini, R. L., 1999. "Possible explanations of phase transitions in highway traffic," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 365-379, June.
    13. Small, Kenneth A, 1982. "The Scheduling of Consumer Activities: Work Trips," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 467-479, June.
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