Congestion pricing

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a study on congestion pricing, which aims to reduce traffic congestion by charging drivers more for using a highway at times or places with heavy traffic and less in opposite circumstances. Congestion pricing is different from tolls and other highway user fees because the charges vary with the amount of traffic. The report presents several policy options for Congress, but "(b)ecause the federal government owns or operates very few highways itself, federal policy must rely on encouraging state and local government to expand the use of congestion pricing."

A table in the study lists congestion-pricing projects in the U.S., both operating and under study. The Appendix details case studies of four different types of congestion pricing: cordon pricing, priced facilities, priced lanes, and high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes:
  • Central London congestion-charging zone (cordon pricing)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's bridges and tunnels (priced facilities)
  • State Route 91, Orange County, CA (priced lanes) and
  • I-394 in Minneapolis, MN (HOT lanes)

Using Pricing to Reduce Traffic Congestion (pdf, 39pp/2 MB), March 2009

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