Effects of revenue use and perceived effectiveness on acceptability of transport pricing policies
Car use causes various collective problems, such congestion and increasing CO2-emmisions. One way to manage these problems is to influence people’s car use. Pricing policies aimed at making car use more expensive, such as implementing congestion or kilometre charges, may be effective strategies to influence people’s car use. However, significant pricing policies are not easily implemented, since they are not acceptable to the public. Acceptability levels may dependent on the type of pricing policy being implemented. In this study we examined two policy characteristics that may affect the acceptability of pricing policies: revenue use and price level. It is hypothesised that pricing policies are more acceptable if price increases are rather low, and if revenues benefit individual car users rather than the general public. Further, we examined the relationship between policy acceptability and effectiveness. On the one hand we assume that policies are not acceptable if they are not effective in changing people’s car use. In that case, people experience the disadvantages of the policies while at the same time problems resulting from car use, such as congestion, are not being solved. On the other hand, policies that are very effective in changing one’s own car use are probably also not acceptable, because this seriously threatens people’s freedom to move. Thus, we hypothesise policies are acceptable if they reduce the problems of car use, without seriously affecting people’s own car use and freedom of choice.
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