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Copyright © 2005 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

Credit-based congestion pricing: a policy proposal and the public’s responsestar, open
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Kara M. KockelmanCorresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author and Sukumar KalmanjeE-mail The Corresponding Author

Clare Boothe Luce Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 6.9 E. Cockrell Jr. Hall, Austin, TX 78712-1076, United States

Received 29 October 2003; 
revised 24 August 2004; 
accepted 22 February 2005. 
Available online 4 May 2005.


Credit-based congestion pricing (CBCP) is a novel strategy proposed here. A revenue-neutral policy where road tolls are based on the negative externalities associated with driving under congested conditions, its generated tolls are returned to all licensed drivers in a uniform fashion, as a sort of driving “allowance”. Essentially, the “average” driver pays nothing, while frequent long-distance peak-period drivers subsidize others, in effect paying them to stay off congested roads. In order to anticipate initial public response to a CBCP policy, 500 individuals completed a detailed survey regarding perceptions of, and likely travel reactions to, such a policy. Weights were developed to correct for survey biases in gender, age and household income. Analytical results suggest that 25% support this new strategy, and support is strongly related to familiarity with the concept of congestion pricing. Respondent estimates of congested travel times to work or school are almost double the uncongested times. Values of travel time vary greatly across respondents, as also trip flexibility. Those without children, younger respondents, and those with fewer vehicles appear more willing to support such a policy and more likely to modify their travel behaviors. Older people and full time employed people were willing to pay higher CBCP tolls to drive during peak hours and so were men as compared to women. The survey results corroborate the potential of a CBCP policy to alleviate congestion and generate benefits across income groups and traveler types.

Article Outline

1. Introduction
2. A credit-based congestion pricing (CBCP) policy
3. Review of congestion pricing studies
4. CBCP survey design and administration
5. Data analysis
6. Perceptions of congestion and traveler response
7. Support for congestion-mitigating policies
8. Stated responses to congestion pricing policies
9. Travel changes in the face of CBCP
10. Toll levels for travel changes
11. Values of travel time (VOTT)
12. Specific responses related to CBCP
13. Conclusions and extensions
Further Reading

star, openPresented at the 10th International Conference on Travel Behaviour Research (Lucerne, Switzerland, 10–14 August 2003) and at the Theory and Practice of Congestion Charging Conference (Imperial College, London, 18–20 August 2003).

Corresponding Author Contact InformationCorresponding author. Tel.: +1 512 471 0210; fax: +1 512 475 8744.

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