Congestion pricing : policy dimensions, public rejection and impacts
Author(s)Chingcuanco, Franco (Franco Felipe)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
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This thesis makes three related contributions to the broad literature on congestion pricing. First, it examines three policy dimensions that underlie pricing: the economic arguments that motivate it, the technological options that enable it, and the equity concerns raised by its implementation. The thesis unites these dimensions and shows that not only can they be in tension with each other, but they also collectively affect pricing's public acceptance. Second, a new framework is proposed that roots the public rejection of congestion pricing along the dimensions of inequity and uncertainty, influenced by societal views and institutional issues. Using this framework, a number of political problems including collective action, credible commitment, free riding and loss aversion are posed as specific combinations of perceived inequity and uncertainty about congestion pricing's benefits and costs. Societal views are then shown to moderate the public's sentiment about this policy. Afterwards, this framework is linked to institutional issues, particularly the political process that could constrain and block the approval of a congestion pricing program. Finally, the thesis evaluates the effectiveness of pricing as a policy tool. The impacts of congestion pricing-both positive and negative-are first considered. Afterwards, the thesis compares pricing to a small subset of other congestion mitigation options, including taxing vehicle miles traveled, regulating automobile ownership, and regulating and taxing parking supply. The revenue generating potential of these tools is also reviewed. Throughout the thesis, evidence is drawn from both successful (e.g., London, Stockholm and Singapore) and failed (e.g., New York City, Edinburgh, Manchester and Hong Kong) attempts to introduce congestion pricing. The research concludes by delineating a number of important considerations when exploring pricing as an option to mitigate traffic congestion.
Thesis: S.M. in Transportation and in Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 115-128).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Civil and Environmental Engineering.