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OCR for page 17
C O M M I T T E E F I N D I N G S A N D R E C O M M E N D AT I O N S 5 POTENTIAL U.S. POLICY INITIATIVES FOR Pricing's impacts on the level of economic activity, FURTHER DISCUSSION AND CONSIDERATION land use patterns, and urban form of affected areas. Improved pricing structures for corridors and A number of potential policy initiatives were identified urban areas, especially with regard to pricing structures and discussed during the conference and in committee based on marginal cost. deliberations. Among those raised most often, the com- The impact of road pricing on freight movement, mittee endorsed the following ideas as being worthy of with such research based on surveys and analysis of further investigation and consideration; many are under implications not only for truckers but also for ports, ter- consideration in pending legislation to reauthorize federal minal operators, and other parties participating in the surface transportation programs: logistics management chain. Empirical information on the distributional effects Providing broad permission for state and local offi- of pricing projects, with a focus not only on the inci- cials to pursue pricing on new and existing federal-aid dence of the charges (i.e., who pays) but also on the rel- roads, including conversion of existing high-occupancy ative distribution of benefits to individuals within a vehicle lanes into high-occupancy toll lanes. range of income levels, residential locations, racial and Continuing to house within the Federal Highway ethnic groups, and other relevant categories. The inves- Administration a value pricing office or program to serve tigation should place such equity impacts in the context as an ongoing catalyst for research into pricing's poten- of the distributional outcomes created by the existing tial under a range of conditions. The office or program (i.e., largely tax-based) system for funding surface trans- would receive both funding to support and authority to portation infrastructure. Policy-based investigations of award grants for preimplementation activities (e.g., traf- strategies, such as revenue recycling, to mitigate adverse fic studies, surveys, and public education initiatives) and distributional impacts are also recommended. Empirical for the systematic evaluation of completed projects. evidence on locational and economic impacts should Providing state and local officials with discretion also be sought. to use revenues collected from pricing projects on Decision-making processes and constituency- federal-aid roads, bridges, and tunnels for any trans- building approaches that facilitate the implementation portation improvement along the corridor or in the area of pricing programs, including (a) consideration of the in which the pricing in question has been applied. factors that influence various constituencies' and deci- Permitting toll lanes or facilities on federal-aid sion makers' views and (b) the impact of alternative routes dedicated to truck traffic and permitting longer institutional arrangements, including those involving combination vehicles to operate on these dedicated lanes the private sector, on the success of pricing projects. or facilities with provision of adequate barrier or facil- Successful practices through which transportation ity separation, subject to approval by the state and planners factor alternative pricing structures into an affected metropolitan planning organization. integrated transportation strategy, especially with Establishing a special commission to examine respect to how the interaction of pricing structures with means for funding transportation infrastructure other elements of the overall strategy can help identify through a long-range alternative to the fuel tax and con- the optimal pricing strategy. sider the capacity of such an alternative to encourage The implications of increasingly widespread use of efficient use of the existing surface transportation infra- pricing on the development and adoption of appropriate structure. The commission's work would be expected to technologies (e.g., toll collection procedures based on build on the findings of the ongoing Transportation global positioning systems rather than dedicated short- Research Board Study of the Long-Term Viability of range communications), with attention to both privacy Fuel Taxes for Transportation Finance. considerations and the capacity of various technologies Treating the federally tax-exempt status of park- to maximize pricing's effectiveness. ing and public transit subsidies equally and requiring The range of existing and possible enforcement employers who provide these subsidies to give employ- strategies to ensure compliance with toll provisions and ees who do not take advantage of these subsidies the high-occupancy vehicle requirements and an evaluation nontaxable cash equivalent. of their effectiveness and administrative feasibility. RECOMMENDED TOPICS FOR RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE FUTURE RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION Ongoing research in the area of road pricing should In the area of international cooperation, the committee include further consideration of the following topics: identified a number of initiatives designed to take advan-

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6 I N T E R N AT I O N A L P E R S P E C T I V E S O N R O A D P R I C I N G tage of the knowledge gained across the world in pricing updated roster of priced facilities, the essential factual projects: information about these facilities, and published papers and evaluations. Encourage United States research institutions and Through a partnership between the Transporta- the European Commission to pursue coordinated and, tion Research Board, other U.S. institutions, the ideally, parallel research projects. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Devel- Treat this symposium as a launching pad for simi- opment, the European Conference of Ministers of lar international pricing symposia in the future to be held Transport, and other national governments and orga- at regular intervals and to address a regularly updated nizations throughout the world, sponsor a series of agenda of topics. site visits to prime international examples of priced Create a centralized web-based repository of facilities. The visits should be directed to influential information on worldwide pricing projects. Possibly to decision makers and convey the feasibility of such be created and maintained by the Transportation projects and the lessons learned throughout their Research Board, this website would include a regularly implementation.