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THEN AND NOW 71 EMERGING PROSPECTS FOR THE to nonroad transportation. These approaches are already COMING DECADE AND BEYOND more common with respect to passenger air travel than road travel. I would expect to see additional applications I expect that recent trends will continue in the United to urban passenger transit systems in the form of States and Canada. There will be steady but gradual increased use of off-peak discounts and distance-based expansion of congestion pricing in the face of continu- fares. Such approaches may also be applied to far more ing opposition and skepticism. While proponents of sophisticated schedules governing the pricing of parking congestion pricing have long emphasized its potential spaces at urban transit and commuter rail stations as contributions to the improvement of system efficiency, well as at airports, sports stadia, and other venues that growing shortages of revenues are likely to be as influ- generate a great deal of automobile traffic. ential as concerns about efficiency in the continued Because equity continues to be an overriding concern adoption of electronically priced congestion charges. in American politics and threatens to slow the progress A few older American cities, such as New York and of pricing unless it is addressed in serious and practical Boston, may eventually attempt area-based pricing ways, greater experimentation with relating pricing to strategies that emulate successes that have been achieved income and equity is also likely. For example, I would in Europe, but I expect facility-based applications of expect to see the introduction of lower-priced or "life- pricing to continue to be more common in America for line" rates for low-income travelers on some facilities reasons noted above. that decide to introduce road pricing. Similarly, because strong objections remain to the In the much longer term, perhaps over 20 or more "retrofitting" of congestion pricing on roads that have years, it seems reasonable to expect that motor fuel taxes already been paid for by other sorts of user fees, I would will eventually become obsolete as the primary source of predict that for some time to come pricing in North road userbased financing. Whether fuel cells or other America is likely to be more commonly attempted at technological innovations become the principal means of locations at which new capacity is being added in the powering motor vehicles, it is reasonable to postulate form of additional lanes, such as HOT lanes, or where that policy makers will attempt to promote the adoption entirely new road facilities are being added to the net- of new energy technologies by designing tax incentives work. In some cases, these could be new lanes that are to encourage their introduction. With the widespread specifically reserved for trucks and goods movement availability of electronic toll collection, however, it is and that are paid for by tolls on the trucks that use them. reasonable to think that user fees and hypothecation, Gradually, at specific bottlenecks, including heavily con- long a mainstay of American transportation system gested major bridges providing access to the cores of finance, will evolve from reliance on the taxation of fuel large urban regions, congestion pricing will be added as purchases to the more direct pricing of travel at the time current toll schedules are revised, to manage flow more and place roads are used. This was, of course, originally efficiently while increasing revenues. contemplated in the 1920s. In fact, those who adopted I expect efficiency-based road pricing to be more the motor fuel tax at that time thought it was a tempo- widely applied to goods movement over the coming rary and second-best solution. I believe they were right, decade or two than to automobile traffic. Trucks, of though their vision will have taken much longer to course, pay more through user fees than do cars, and achieve than they could ever have imagined. there is more concern that current pricing mechanisms do not charge them fairly. We expect the volume of goods movement to increase over the coming decade much REFERENCES more steeply than highway passenger traffic. The instal- lation of electronic devices in trucks and the monitoring Altshuler, A. A. 1965. The City Planning Process: A Political of truck movements through GPSS are much further Analysis. Cornell University Press. advanced and much more politically acceptable than is Brown, J. 2001. Reconsider the Gas Tax: Paying for What the case with respect to passenger vehicles. I think it pos- You Get. Access, Vol. 19, Fall, pp. 1015. sible that truckers will support the construction of truck- Forkenbrock, D., and J. G. Kuhl. 2002. A New Approach to only auxiliary lanes on existing but congested Interstate Assessing Road User Charges. Public Policy Center, highways, to be financed by electronically imposed truck University of Iowa. fees based on precise monitoring of truck weights and Giuliano, G. 1994. Equity and Fairness Considerations of distances traveled on those facilities. Congestion Pricing. In Special Report 242: Curbing Gradually, as it is proven that emerging technology Gridlock: Peak-Period Fees to Relieve Traffic Con- can facilitate more sophisticated pricing schemes with- gestion, Vol. 2, Transportation Research Board, out confusing travelers or customers, I would expect to National Research Council, Washington, D.C., pp. see increased application of dynamic cost-based pricing 250279.

OCR for page 83
72 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 Knight, F. H. 1924. Some Fallacies in the Interpretation of Social 242: Curbing Gridlock: Peak-Period Fees to Relieve Cost. Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 38, pp. Traffic Congestion (two volumes). National Research 582606. Council, Washington, D.C. Pigou, A. C. 1920. The Economics of Welfare. Macmillan, Lon- Vickrey, W. S. 1967. Optimisation of Traffic and Facilities. don. Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, Vol. 1, pp. Roth, G. 2003. A Road Policy for the Future. Regulation, 123136. Spring, pp. 5459. Wachs, M. 1994. Will Congestion Pricing Ever Be Adopted? Schrank, D., and T. Lomax. 2001. The 2001 Urban Mobility Access, Vol. 4, Spring, pp. 1519. Report. Texas Transportation Institute, College Station. Wachs, M. 2002. Fighting Traffic Congestion with Information Taylor, B. D. 1995. Public Perceptions, Fiscal Realities, and Technology. Issues in Science and Technology, Vol. 19, Freeway Planning: The California Case. Journal of the pp. 4350. American Planning Association, Vol. 61, pp. 4356. Wachs, M. 2003. A Dozen Reasons for Raising Gasoline Transportation Research Board and Commission on Behavioral Taxes. Public Works Management and Planning, Vol. 7, and Social Sciences and Education. 1994. Special Report pp. 235242.