Road Congestion Pricing in Europe
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Road Congestion Pricing in Europe

Implications for the United States

Edited by Harry W. Richardson and Chang-Hee Christine Bae

In February 2003, the London Congestion Charging Scheme was introduced and in 2006 a similar policy was introduced in Stockholm. In both cases automobile traffic entering the cordon declined by about 20 percent. This book evaluates these and other similar programs exploring their implications for the United States. This study’s value lies in the fact that it examines road pricing in the real world and not simply from a theoretical viewpoint. As a comparative study it will appeal to both policymakers and academics in transportation economics and planning, urban economics, planning and economic geography.
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Chapter 13: Worse than a Congestion Charge: Paris Traffic Restraint Policy

Rémy Prud’homme and Pierre Kopp


13. Worse than a congestion charge: Paris traffic restraint policy Rémy Prud’homme and Pierre Kopp 1 INTRODUCTION Congestion charges are good in theory, but can be bad in practice. Studying the case of London, Prud’homme and Bocarejo (2005) concluded that implementation costs were higher than the time gains for remaining car users (net of the welfare loss of evicted car users) and the time gains for bus users and environmental gains. Studying the case of Stockholm, Prud’homme and Kopp (2006) reached a similar conclusion. However, the shrinking of road space policy followed in Paris is much worse: it is bad in theory and bad in practice. Let us begin by clarifying the meaning of ‘Paris’. The expression is used, and can be used, to designate two different realities: the ‘Paris agglomeration’ and the ‘Paris municipality’. The Paris agglomeration is an economic and social entity with a population of 11 million people, which functions as a largely integrated labour market, in part thanks to good highway and public transport systems. It comprises over 1,000 municipalities, the basic French politico-administrative unit. The Paris municipality, with about 2 million people, is one of them. It is obviously the most important one, and the heart of the agglomeration, but it represents only a fifth of the agglomeration in terms of population, and much less in area. The many studies that compare Paris defined as a municipality (2 million people) with London (7 million people) or New York (9 million...

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