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RE: [UTSG] reducing interests in vehicular travel by getting rid of the fun in the driving

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  • Wetzel Dave
    Todd wrote: One of the best features of pricing is that rates can be adjusted to reflect changes in demand and planning objectives. To manage congestion,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 15, 2004
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      Todd wrote:
      "One of the best features of pricing is that rates can be adjusted to
      reflect changes in demand and planning objectives. To manage congestion,
      rates should be higher during peak periods and lower during off-peak
      periods, and can increase over time as demand grows, ....."

      I visited Minneapolis last month during the Presidential elections.
      Next Spring they are going to introduce charging on the High Occupancy
      Vehicle Lane (HOV, Diamond Lane) for single occupant vehicles on one of
      their Interstate Highways.

      This lane, in the middle of the highway, alternates for peak flows.
      It is currently well under-occupied by HOVs.

      They intend to charge up to $8 for single occupant vehicles to enter the
      lane.
      The congestion will be measured every six minutes - and the price adjusted
      accordingly, every six minutes.
      You only pay as you join through one of six entry points.
      If the lane is congested at $8 then it will be closed to non-HOV traffic
      completely.

      I think something similar already exists elsewhere in the USA.


      Dave
      Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Todd Alexander Litman [mailto:litman@...]
      Sent: 29 November 2004 14:57
      To: UTSG@...
      Subject: Re: [UTSG] reducing interests in vehicular travel by getting
      rid of the fun in the driving


      At 10:56 AM 11/29/2004 +0000, Sanjay Rana wrote:
      >How does the congestion charging model incorporate the increased flow of
      >traffic in future - perhaps by increasing the congestion charge or adding
      >some other form of charge?

      One of the best features of pricing is that rates can be adjusted to
      reflect changes in demand and planning objectives. To manage congestion,
      rates should be higher during peak periods and lower during off-peak
      periods, and can increase over time as demand grows, or if a city wants to
      reduce road or parking supply, for example, by converting some traffic
      lanes to pedestrian space.


      >Are there any research on the type of traffic that have
      >disappeared/migrated? Was it the cross-london traffic or just some one from
      >Kensington avoiding to go to shopping to oxford street?

      The London congestion pricing evaluation program is looking carefully at
      the travel changes that have resulted
      (www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/cc_monitoring.shtml), and yes, much of the reduced
      traffic is from avoided cross-town trips, rather than trips to the center
      area, and some are reduced shopping trips. Some businesses have complained
      of substantial reductions in traffic, although I suspect they are
      exaggerating the impacts.


      >Another (and perhaps impractical) idea - How about setting up a website
      >where all vehicle owners i.e. households and companies can submit,
      >anonymously, the following information to a national survey:
      >For each car or a set of cars owned:
      >
      >- postcodes of starting point and end point of journey
      >- journeys per week
      >- time of each journey (i.e. AM,PM etc.)
      >
      >This could be a small project, advertised on relevant websites such as AA,
      >banks, DVLA, etc. in UK and similar ones elsewhere and also perhaps via
      >postal ballot.

      This is called "Ridesharing" (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm34.htm), and such
      websites are implemented in many cities. Most are intended for predictable
      commute trips, others are dynamic, that is, they are intended for
      individual trips.

      The challenge we face is not a lack of travel alternatives, it is a lack of
      incentives to use those alternatives. Ridesharing, public transit, cycling,
      walking, telework (using telecommunications to substitute for physical
      travel) and flextime (allowing employees greater flexibility in when they
      work) are all transportation options that can substantially reduce private
      automobile travel. Most travelers could shift mode for some trips without
      too much effort, but they lack an incentive to do so. Most vehicle costs
      are fixed: motorists pay thousands of dollars/euros annually to own a car
      regardless of how much it is used. The marginal cost of driving seems low.
      Vehicles owners feel that they need to maximize their driving in order to
      get a fair return on their fixed costs (particularly since automobiles are
      status goods, so many consumers spend more than they really need to), and
      public transit/rideshare vehicles are generally stuck in traffic as well as
      private cars. As a result, the current transportation market gives
      travelers little incentive to shift mode when possible (for example, for a
      commuter to use public transit when they don't need their car for errands
      after work, or to cycle during good weather).

      Note, by the way, that physically and economically disadvantaged people
      tend to benefit most from pricing incentives, particularly if revenues are
      used to improve travel options such as public transit and nonmotorized
      travel conditions, because many already use alternative modes and they
      value the opportunity to save money, for example, by Parking Cash Out
      (commuters are given a choice between receiving free parking or the cash
      equivalent). The claim that pricing is always harmful to the poor is simply
      inaccurate.



      Sincerely,
      Todd Litman, Director
      Victoria Transport Policy Institute
      "Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
      1250 Rudlin Street
      Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada
      Phone & Fax: 250-360-1560
      Email: litman@...
      Website: http://www.vtpi.org


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