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Role of Pricing Revenue in Financing Projects and Services Erik Amdal, Norwegian Public Roads Administration Robert Poole, Reason Foundation Dario D'Annunzio, Cofiroute LORD OF THE RINGS, TRONDHEIM, NORWAY The toll or road pricing system should have low operating costs. Erik Amdal The system should be used as a traffic regulation tool, with inbound traffic paying a higher rate during Cities all over the world struggle with the same traffic peak hours to distribute the traffic over time. problems: congestion, traffic accidents, and air pollu- The system should be based on a no-stop electronic tion. This was the situation in Trondheim, Norway's payment system. third-largest city, with a population of 140,000. The The necessary toll equipment should be com- main traffic problem in Trondheim was the lack of a pressed to be suitable for all types of locations, even in road system with sufficient capacity to handle traffic the streets of the city center. demand. This caused traffic problems in the city center and the nearby residential areas. As much as 50% of the The following were key elements of the implemented traffic in the city center was just going through the cen- system: ter without stopping. Between 1983 and 1987, traffic growth of 25% was registered, and it was easy to pre- Provision of free electronic tags to all car users in dict a total collapse in the near future if nothing was the Trondheim area, done to reduce the growth and improve the transport Operation of 10 unattended toll plazas and one system. attended plaza, In an effort to reduce these problems, in 1987 the city Weekday operation of the toll ring system from 6 council decided to implement a road pricing or tolling a.m. to 5 p.m., and system as one part of a new transport plan for the city. Higher charges during morning peak hours. The transport plan covers all types of city transport. After extensive discussions with both local and central The system opened on October 14, 1991. The Trond- authorities, the national parliament approved a plan for heim Toll Ring Project was well marketed before the extending the present main road system, building new opening, and today 95% of the motorists entering the roads around the city center, enhancing the road system city center use the electronic payment system. The rev- for pedestrians and cyclists, and giving priority to pub- enues, today around 150 million NKr per year, are being lic transport. It was agreed that the new investments used to finance new road infrastructure, improved pub- should be financed partly by implementing a toll ring lic transit, and new facilities for pedestrians and cyclists system around the city. in Trondheim. The first year after opening, inbound With an eye to the toll ring, policy makers emphasized traffic during toll hours declined by 10% and weekday the following goals: bus travel increased by 7%. In 1998 the system was 32