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Welcoming Remarks and Charge to the Conference Bob Oldakowski, Mayor of Key Biscayne Lowell Clary, Florida Department of Transportation Sherri Alston, Federal Highway Administration Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board Martine Micozzi, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Steve Heminger, Metropolitan Transportation Commission P articipants were welcomed to Key Biscayne by ing pilot program established under the Intermodal the Honorable Bob Oldakowski, Mayor of Key Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) Biscayne. He noted that the incorporation of Key and continued as the value pricing pilot program under Biscayne 12 years ago initiated a trend toward incor- the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. poration throughout Dade County and created a She noted that the pilot has brought pricing experi- greater sense of autonomy and accountability for local ments to 36 projects in 15 states and is thus providing decisions and recognition of their impacts. In keeping a wealth of information to help guide future policy with the principle of responsible and beneficial policy decisions. She acknowledged several FHWA staff who choices, he wished the symposium's organizers and had been particular leaders in the field, including participants a successful conference. Patrick DeCorla-Souza, and thanked them for their Lowell Clary, Assistant Secretary of the Florida efforts in this area. Department of Transportation, placed the charge to the Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Executive Director of the Trans- conference attendees in the context of Florida's experi- portation Research Board (TRB), referred conference ence. The state has an extensive network of toll roads. attendees to a 2003 publication on megaprojects (Mega- More recently it has been examining pricing not only as Projects: The Changing Politics of Urban Public Invest- a means of raising needed revenue but also as a tool for ment, Alan A. Altshuler and David Luberoff) and noted meeting other policy objectives, including managing that one of the greatest challenges for jurisdictions under- congestion, optimizing the network, and addressing an taking these projects is to bring together diverse interests array of concerns regarding the distribution of costs and and develop a consensus concerning a common set of benefits of the transportation system. He indicated that objectives and a plan for implementation. He noted that the state and the nation would need to undertake an successful implementation of congestion pricing requires a extensive study of the gasoline tax within the coming similar harmonization of diverse interests and objectives, a decade to examine whether it ought to remain the back- short list of which includes the creation of new capacity, bone of the system for funding surface transportation revenue generation, traffic calming, and environmental investment or be supplanted by another mechanism for improvements. He said that he was pleased that TRB was raising revenue. Given pricing's capacity not only to revisiting the seminal Curbing Gridlock study and noted raise revenue but also to address other policy objectives, that the time is ripe for a fresh look at pricing. he said he thought it likely that pricing already has and Finally, Martine Micozzi, representing the Organisa- will retain an important place in the overall system for tion for Economic Co-operation and Development, wel- funding and managing the transportation network. comed the many participants who had traveled from Representing the Federal Highway Administration overseas to attend this symposium. She noted that this (FHWA), Sherri Alston described the congestion pric- conference had an especially high level of international 9

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10 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 participation, with overseas participants representing 15 the Interstate highway system provided that the level of countries from Finland to Australia. She noted that service is maintained for carpools and vanpools. Even in broad participation and the resulting cross-fertilization San Francisco, where officials have studied pricing between various nations' experts on pricing would result without a single success, a HOT lane proposal for Inter- in a much richer conference. state 680 may finally prove to be a winner. These trends Following these welcoming remarks, Steve Heminger, largely bear out the findings and recommendations of Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Com- TRB's Curbing Gridlock report, published in 1994, mission, Oakland, California, and conference chair, pro- which concluded that road pricing was technically feasi- vided a brief overview of developments in road pricing ble and would produce a net benefit to society but had since 1991. Starting with the U.S. experience, he noted uncertain political viability. that while ISTEA provided the first opportunity in the Pricing seems to have fared better abroad, said Mr. United States for limited experimentation with Interstate Heminger. He named Singapore, Canada, France, the tolling and congestion pricing, most pricing successes Netherlands, Norway, and England, with its exciting have been in the area of high-occupancy toll (HOT) central London pricing project. It is also noteworthy lanes, with projects under way in two California coun- that these applications generally involve "pure pricing," ties and Houston, Texas. While the San Francisco area under which every motorist pays a fee, as opposed to was one of the early entrants into the federal congestion the "choice pricing" of U.S.-style HOT lanes or express pricing pilot program with a proposal to institute peak lanes, under which motorists can avoid the fee if they pricing on the San FranciscoOakland Bay Bridge, that choose the free, slower lanes. project stalled for political reasons by 1994. Today, New Providing the charge to the conference, Mr. York City has been able to do what San Francisco could Heminger called for a healthy exchange of ideas on all not, with higher peak-hour tolls in place on the Hudson facets of road pricing, including technical feasibility, River tunnels and bridges into Manhattan. economic and social equity, and political viability. He The pricing provisions appearing in the Bush admin- concluded that the symposium provides an excellent istration's proposal for reauthorizing the nation's high- opportunity for U.S. and international experts to learn way and transit programs make incremental progress in from one another. He added, however, that in the area a national policy that supports pricing, since they would of pricing, the United States likely has far more to learn allow local officials to institute HOT lanes anywhere on from abroad than vice versa.