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Road Pricing: Resources

USDOT Resources: IPD Road Pricing Public Acceptance and Outreach Webinar - Session 2

Patrick DeCorla-Souza, Tolling and Pricing Program Manager, FHWA
Lee Munnich, Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota
Bruce Schaller, New York City Department of Transportation
John Doan, SRF Consulting

Office of Innovative Program Delivery
Federal Highway Administration

Second Part of a Webinar Series on Road Pricing Outreach

FHWA - IPD Road Pricing Public Acceptance and Outreach Webinar Mini-Courses

Moderator:

  • John Doan, SRF Consulting

Presenters:

  • Patrick Decorla-Souza, Tolling and Pricing Manager, FHWA
  • Lee Munnich, Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota
  • Bruce Schaller, New York City Department of Transportation
  • John Doan, SRF Consulting

Audience Q&A:

  • Type questions into the chat box. The moderator will field your question to the appropriate panelist. Questions will be answered at the end of each session and during the last 15 minutes of the webinar.

Presentation Outline

  1. Communicating with stakeholders (Patrick DeCorla-Souza)
  2. Public perceptions and congestion pricing (Lee Munnich)
  3. New York City experience (Bruce Schaller)
  4. Case study (John Doan)

Part 1 Communicating with Stakeholders

Patrick DeCorla-Souza,
Tolling and Pricing Program Manager,
FHWA

Equity Concerns - Types of equity concerns

  • Income-based
  • Modal
  • Geographic
  • Fairness (paying twice)
Income-Based Equity

Social Justice Advocacy Groups' concern:
This will be a regressive tax on those who can least afford it.

New Priced Lanes: Equity Concerns
  • Tolls require a larger share of the income of low-income commuters.
  • So lower-income drivers use priced facilities less often
  • This creates an equity issue ("Lexus lanes")`

SR 91 Express lanes graph

Share of Income Spent on Tolls

$2.00 bridge toll on SR 520 bridge

Graph - Share of Income Spent on Tolls

Addressing Equity Concerns

  • Addressing income-based equity:
    • Improved and/or lower cost transit service
    • Toll credits or discounts for means-tested drivers
    • Reimbursements of the amount of toll above the transit fare (NYC)
    • Convenient ways for the "unbanked" to pay
    • Modal Equity

Modal Equity

Transit Advocacy Groups' Concern:
Congestion relief will encourage choice transit riders to abandon transit and go back to their cars.

Transit and Congestion Pricing

Transit and Congestion Pricing Graphic

Addressing Modal Equity Concerns

  • Addressing Modal Equity:
    • Dedicate some of toll revenue to transit (San Diego, Minneapolis)
    • Provide free or discounted service for carpools (HOT lanes)

Geographic Equity

Local residents' concerns:
Why do I have to pay for my road, when my tax dollars went to pay for the other guy's road?"

Region-wide Approach

Long-Range Planning:
  • Incorporate road pricing into long-range planning
  • All regional residents share in the burden

Graphic of Map

Region-wide Approach vs. "Patchwork"

Affordability:
  • Lower tolls can be charged, since the financial burden is spread over more drivers

Map

Efficiency:
  • Tolls on only improved facilities will lead to sub-optimal use in off-peak
    • Discourages use in off-peak
    • Causes diversions to free facilities

Map

Paying Twice

Motorist Advocacy Groups' Concern:
Why impose tolls on existing free roads already paid for with taxes?

Construction Cost of New Lanes

  • Providing "free" new capacity is financially unsustainable
  • Fuel tax receipts from peak trips are less than 6% of capital cost for constructing a new lane

Graph of Construction Cost of New Lanes

Construction Cost per Peak Trip

Costs in Major Urbanized Areas

Normal Cost

High Cost

Highway construction cost/ lane mile*

$13.4 M.

$55.9 M.

Daily traffic volume in peak periods (5-6 hours/day)

10,000 vehicles

10,000 vehicles

Const. cost per vehicle per mile

$1,340

$5,590

Const. cost for 20-mile round trip

$26,800

$111,800

Annualized const. cost for 20-mile trip**

$1,742

$7,267

Cost for 20-mile trip per working day

$7.00

$29.00

Gas tax paid for 20-mile trip (2 cents/mile)

$0.40

$0.40

*Source: FHWA, in 2006 dollars
**Annualization factor 0.065 assuming a 5.25% discount rate and 30-years

Costs for Reconstruction per Trip

Costs in Major Urbanized Areas

Average Cost

Cost per lane mile*

$6.7 M.

Daily traffic volume (24 hours)

20,000 vehicles

Reconstruction cost per vehicle per mile

$335

Reconstruction cost for 20-mile round trip

$6,700

Annualized cost for 20-mile trip**

$436

Cost for 20-mile trip per day

$1.20

Gas tax paid for 20-mile trip (2 cents/mile)

$0.40

*Source: FHWA, in 2006 dollars
**Annualization factor 0.065 assuming a 5.25% discount rate and 30-years

Taxes vs. Tolls

Trucking Advocacy Groups' Concern:
Why not just raise taxes - they are less expensive to collect than tolls.

Taxes vs. Tolls: Congestion Delay

  • Rush hour tolls reduce traffic
  • A 10-14% reduction in traffic results in an 80% reduction in travel delays

Graph of Taxes vs. Tolls Congestion Delay

Source: The Louis Berger Group Inc. Examining the Speed-Flow-Delay Paradox in the Washington, DC Region: Potential Impacts of Reduced Traffic on Congestion Delay and Potential for Reductions in Discretionary Travel during Peak Periods, 2009.

Benefits to Governments and Public

Government services:
  • Investment: Reduces new capacity needs
  • Emergency services: Not stuck in traffic
Societal benefits:
  • Economic: Improves freight transportation productivity
  • Environment: Reduced greenhouse gases and improved air quality
  • Community: Encourages use and development of alternative modes

Part 2 - Public Perceptions and Congestion Pricing

Lee Munnich, Humphrey Institute,
University of Minnesota

Citizens Jury

  • In 1995, the Humphrey Institute conducted a week-long Citizens Jury with 24-randomly selected citizens from the Twin Cities area.
  • Although the Citizens Jury voted 17-7 against congestion pricing as a way to manage congestion and fund transportation, the exit survey was quite enlightening.
  • While 16 opposed congestion pricing, 18 of the 24 were open to considering congestion pricing as an effective solution in the future. Their primary concerns were
  1. Congestion not bad enough yet,
  2. Congestion pricing not fair - Lexus Lane concern,
  3. Congestion pricing costs too much - raise gas tax instead; and
  4. Congestion pricing won't work.

Should Minnesota consider congestion pricing in the future?

Citizens Jury Exit Survey
  • 25 percent were solidly against congestion pricing
  • 33 percent were in favor of congestion pricing
  • 42 percent were opposed to congestion pricing but open to consideration if their concerns were addressed

Pie Chart

Loss Aversion

  • In behavioral economics and decision theory, loss aversion refers to people's tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains.
  • Behavioral studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains.

Graph

Source: Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman. "The Framing of Decisions and the Psychology of Choice"
Science, New Series, Vol. 211, No. 4481. (Jan. 30, 1981), pp. 453-458.

CURACAO

  • A European study of congestion pricing, CURACAO (2008), found that based on European congestion proposals and projects, the public tends to be open to congestion pricing when discussed generally but becomes more opposed to congestion pricing as projects move closer to implementation.
  • Referenda on congestion pricing before implementation have failed miserably - 75 percent against in Edinburgh, Scotland and 78 percent against in Manchester, England.
  • However, projects that were implemented in London and Stockholm in spite of public opposition resulted in high levels of public support after implementation and are still in operation.

Public Support for Congestion Pricing

Graph

Source: CURACAO State of the Art Interim Report, April 26, 2008. p. 94, http://www.curacaoproject.eu/state-of-the-art-report.php

Part 3 - New York City Congestion Pricing

Bruce Schaller
Deputy Commissioner, Planning & Sustainability
New York City Department of Transportation

NYC Congestion Pricing Proposal (Jan. 2008)

Map of New York City Congestion Pricing

Distinguishing attributes of NYC experience

  • Required approval of City Council and State Legislature
    • Provided three opportunities for opponents to block proposal
  • Priced existing capacity
  • No free driving alternative
    • Everyone entering zone must pay; contrasts with HOT lanes
  • MTA credibility issues affected public perception of transit as a viable alternative to driving

Summary of views on congestion pricing

Summary Table of Congestion Pricing
Summary Table of Congestion Pricing
Summary Table of Congestion Pricing

Lessons Learned

  • Importance of vision and top-level leadership
  • Pricing part of comprehensive plan that includes improved transit service, and served transportation, climate change and land use goals
  • Public involvement shaped the final plan
  • Extensive public outreach and education critical
  • Leadership from civic, business, environmental and advocacy groups
  • Availability of federal funding ($354m UPA)
  • Public engagement should shape program design.
  • Pricing must provide value proposition to those who will pay
  • Particularly challenging when all drivers entering a cordon will pay
  • Need clear rationale why some drivers pay and others do not
  • Need to demonstrate delivery of benefits (reduced congestion, improved transit)

Part 4 - Group Discussion

John Doan - SRF Consulting

 For More Information

Contact Information

  • Patrick DeCorla-Souza
    Tolling and Pricing Program Manager
    Office of Innovative Program Delivery
    Federal Highway Administration
    Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
    Washington, DC 20590
    (202) 366-4076
    patrick.decorla-souza@dot.gov

  • Lee Munnich
    Senior Fellow and Director
    State and Local Policy Program/Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
    280 Humphrey Center
    301 19th Avenue South
    Minneapolis, MN 55455
    (612) 625-7357
    lmunnich@umn.edu

  • Bruce Schaller
    Deputy Commissioner for Planning & Sustainability
    New York City Department of Transportation
    55 Water Street, 9th Floor
    New York, NY 10041
    (212) 839-6662
    bschaller@dot.nyc.gov

  • John Doan
    Senior Associate
    SRF Consulting Group, Inc.
    1 Carlson Parkway, Suite 150
    Minneapolis, MN 55447
    (763) 249-6750
    jdoan@srfconsulting.com

What's Next?

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
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