A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective
Edited by Erik Verhoef, Michiel Bliemer, Linda Steg and Bert van Wee
Chapter 2: Road Transport Pricing: Motivation, Objectives and Design from an Economic Perspective
1 Erik Verhoef 2.1 INTRODUCTION Road pricing is gaining increasing attention in transport policy circles. After the ﬁrst contemporary area-wide applications in, for example, Singapore and Scandinavia, which demonstrate the technical viability and potential eﬀectiveness of pricing measures, more places have been following suit, either by implementing schemes or at least by considering them. The pricing schemes concerned vary from classic toll roads to express lanes, toll cordons, area charging and kilometre charges. Also charge levels, and degrees of toll diﬀerentiation, may diﬀer quite signiﬁcantly between applications. This may reﬂect diﬀerences both in local conditions and in the schemes’ objectives, and indicate that (local or national) governments have a wide variety of road-pricing options to choose from, after deciding to implement road pricing in the ﬁrst place. This contribution reviews the various possible objectives that may motivate the practical implementation of road-pricing schemes (in Section 2.2), and to discuss (in Section 2.3) how such objectives may aﬀect the design of schemes. These questions are, in the ﬁrst place, of intrinsic interest, because any government considering the implementation of road pricing will beneﬁt from a careful ex ante identiﬁcation and speciﬁcation of the scheme’s objectives, and an assessment of how to best achieve these through optimizing the design of the measure. But, second, these same questions also allow us to provide an introduction to the remainder of the book, by presenting some of the basic (economic) theory of road pricing and...
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