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31 Table 10. Financial performance of the London congestion zone (£ million), FY 2003/042006/07. Fiscal Year 03/04 04/05 05/06 06/07 Average Operational Activities Operating revenue 186.7 218.1 254.1 252.4 227.8 Operating expenditures: toll facilities and traffic mg mt 122.9 121.4 130.3 130.4 126.3 Gross income 63.8 96.7 123.8 122.0 101.6 Non-Operating Expenditures Financial assistance -- -- -- 2.5 Depreciation 1.1 1.6 2.8 4.8 Administration & services -- -- 9.8 13.4 Western extension zone -- -- 3.8 12.2 Deferred charges 17.2 1.7 -- -- Capital financing charges 0.2 0.4 -- -- Subtotal non-operating expenditures 18.5 0.3 16.4 30.4 16.4 Net income 45.3 96.4 107.4 89.1 84.6 Benchmarks Operating costs/revenues 65.8% 55.7% 51.3% 51.7% 55.4% Gross margin 34.2% 44.3% 48.7% 48.3% 44.6% Operating margin 24.3% 44.2% 42.3% 35.3% 37.1% Source: Transport for London 2.4.3 Oslo Oslo City Council (60%) and the Akershus County Council (40%) (Waersted, 2005). Each car that enters into the Oslo Overview of the Oslo System central district passes through a toll station and pays a fixed toll Despite a total population of 4.9 million and a relatively amount regardless of distance traveled. Vehicles can exit the low population density, Norway has a long history of using Oslo central district without paying a toll. Within the toll cor- tolls to finance the development and construction of road don, seven out of the 19 toll stations have five or more lanes. Pre- infrastructure. In 2005, tolls accounted for roughly 35% of viously, the toll stations had electronic payment lanes, lanes with funding within the annual road construction budget. Toll coin machines, and manually operated lanes with toll atten- road projects in Norway are generally based on local initia- dants. In 2008, Fjellinjen AS replaced the tollbooths with an tives, requiring local political agreement and approval by the all-electronic toll-collection (AETC) system and completed the national parliament. Among the major cities, Oslo, Trond- installation of new toll stations on the Bærum toll ring along heim, and Bergen have established urban toll systems, which Oslo's western edge. Figure 10 shows the location of the Oslo include cordon pricing schemes. Additionally, cordon sys- Toll Ring stations (red) and the Bærum toll stations (black). tems have also been established in smaller cities such as Stavanger, Kristiansand, Tønsberg, and Namsos. The latter Operations and Enforcement of the Oslo System community has a population of only 12,000 inhabitants. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration is responsible for When the cordon system was originally adopted, the intent planning, building, and operating toll road projects as well was to remove the tolls after 15 years. Because financial as for planning and building the toll-collection systems. Once resources are still necessary to develop additional transporta- approved, toll roads are managed and operated by a dedi- tion infrastructure in the area, the planned date for removing cated toll road company owned by the local governments tolls has been extended twice. Tolls are currently scheduled where the toll road is located. to be removed in 2027. (Although scheduled to have been Oslo and its surrounding suburbs, with a total population of removed in 2001, tolls in Bergen were also extended for an addi- 1.1 million, have nearly 23% of Norway's population. To man- tional 15 years.) Excess income is used to finance the develop- age congestion, a cordon pricing system was adopted in 1990, ment of transportation infrastructure, with approximately 20% with 19 toll stations composing the Oslo toll ring, which earmarked for public transit (Firth, 2002). An increase in toll demarcates the toll cordon around Oslo. The Oslo toll ring is rates was approved in July 2008. Without a valid AutoPASS managed and operated by Fjellinjen AS, which is owned by the subscription account, automobiles pay NOK 25 (Norwegian
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32 Valid Low Invalid Account Balance Account Source: Fjellinjen AS Figure 11. Oslo and Bærum toll station signals. Source: Fjellinjen AS Figure 10. Map of Oslo toll ring and Bærum size of the vehicle and determines its position on the road- toll stations. way. Finally, the third gantry has a double set of cameras and infrared flashes that capture an image of the front license plate. Kroner) at the Oslo Toll ring and NOK 12.50 at the Bærum The toll gantries are also fitted with equipment that is used to cordon. Trucks pay NOK 75 and NOK 37.50 at the Oslo take images of vehicles attempting to swerve into opposite traf- and Bærum crossing, respectively (as of December 22, 2009, fic lanes to avoid detection. Historically, poor weather and light $1 U.S. = NOK 5.87511). With a valid AutoPASS subscription, conditions have resulted in a 30% failure rate of video images drivers can obtain a 20% discount. Tolls assessed at the Bærum (Waersted, 2005). As a basis of comparison, some vendor con- cordon are in addition to the cordon charge assessed for cross- tracts require video image success rates of over 98%. With the ing into Oslo, decreased by the applicable discount for having installation of new equipment, the number of unread license a subscription account. Invalid accounts are assessed a sur- plates is expected to decrease significantly. charge, which increases by 50% if payment is not received after three weeks of notification. AutoPASS transponders are inter- Impact of the Oslo System on Traffic operable with similar toll and ferry payment systems in Den- mark and Sweden, allowing for a single invoice to users. While the tolling system has relieved bottlenecks in certain Toll payment is based on a subscription system in which locations, the overall impact on traffic has been relatively small. users have the option to prepay for an unlimited number of After an initial 5% decrease, traffic returned to pre-cordon trips within a defined time period or a certain number of trips pricing levels within a few months, increasing steadily there- ranging from 25 to 350. The Oslo toll ring has no-stop lanes after. Independent estimates have found that toll rates should that allow for free-flow conditions. Payment and enforcement be 3 to 5 times higher to have a measurable effect on the vehic- are generally similar to the approach used on other toll facil- ular traffic levels. At the end of fiscal year 2008, Fjellinjen AS ities with ETC systems. Toll transponders are attached behind had approximately 570,000 valid subscriptions, and an esti- the rearview mirror inside the windshield. As the vehicle passes mated 260,000 vehicles pass through its toll stations every day. through the payment lane, the station computer confirms The ETC lanes have a throughput capacity of 1,600 vehicles whether the tag number corresponds to a valid subscription per hour, while lanes with coin machines have an estimated account. Once the account check has been completed, the throughput capacity of 200 to 400 vehicles per hour. driver will receive a plus signal at the end of the payment lane, signifying a valid account. A green plus signal will be displayed Financial Performance of the Oslo System if the account has a sufficient balance, while a white plus sig- nal will be shown if the account has a low balance. An insuffi- In the year after the ETC improvements were completed at cient account balance will result in no signal, requiring account the toll stations, subscription account revenues increased by replenishment. Figure 11 illustrates the signals that are used in 23% and total revenues increased by 29%. Revenues from the Oslo toll cordon system. video invoicing increased from zero to NOK 385 million in FY As a result of recently completed improvements, toll stations 2008. Because Fjellinjen AS is phasing out the manual operation now have three toll gantries located at each crossing point. The of its toll lanes, revenues from manual toll collection decreased first gantry has a camera and an infrared flash, which takes an by 93%. From FY 2003 to FY 2008, the total cost of operating image of the rear license plate. The second gantry is fitted with the cordon toll system in Oslo accounted for 10% to 11% of a scanner that reads the AutoPASS number and measures the revenues. In addition to staffing costs, additional costs that