Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Toll major crossings in Vancouver to reduce congestion- says professor

He supports the idea of Delta Municipal Council Mayor, Lois Jackson, for a C$1  (US$0.77) toll on all major crossings in greater Vancouver as a starting point, but advocates going further.   

He says congested crossings should have higher tolls and these should be time differentiated, effectively targeting congestion where and when it is most severe, and conversely having much lower tolls at off peak times or times when there are no tolls.  He also implies that 22 pinch points on the network (which goes beyond crossings) should be charged, with perhaps similar charges on each for equity and public acceptability reasons.

He wisely opposed a downtown cordon/area charge scheme akin to London or Stockholm, because of the absence of congestion at those times.  

Evidence of impacts of peak toll charges is mixed.  In Sydney, a peak charge was introduced for the harbour crossings (A$4 in peaks, A$3 inter peak and A$2.50 off peak), but that had only a 0.19% impact on peak volumes.  Not enough to relieve congestion.  In San Francisco, a peak charge on the Bay Bridge did have an impact  (PDF), with a 4% reduction in vehicle traffic in the morning peak, but that paralleled introducing a charge for HOVs, which previously travelled free.  Demand elasticities at peak times may be quite low, requiring quite high charges to make a large difference. 

However, both such cases involved vehicles that already were paying tolls.  Introducing tolls where previously there were none should have a more significant demand response.

Meanwhile, check out this rather good video from Canada's Ecofiscal Commission, called Stuck in Traffic with an Economist in Vancouver. It isn't a bad summary of the core urban congestion/road pricing issues:

No comments:

Post a Comment