Toll Financing with a Wider Scope ? Urban Toll Financed Packages and Their Relation to Sustainable Transport and Land Use
J-T Bekken, O Osland, Institute of Transport Economics, NO
The paper consider the development in the scope of Norwegian toll packages to become a fundamental source for public transport investments and to include other important elements (parking policy, mobility management and road pricing) in the packages.
Norway has a long tradition in toll financing of public road infrastructure, dating back to 1933. Traditionally, the financing was related to isolated projects, such as bridges and tunnels. However, with the introduction of the first European toll cordon around a city centre, in Bergen in 1986, the tide shifted. Today, the 4 largest cities in Norway and several smaller have toll cordons. Currently, 1/3 of the investments in public roads are financed by tolls. Most of this comes from the urban toll cordons.
The packages have also developed to become a fundamental source for financing public transport infrastructure. This has made it possible to carry out some very expensive investments. There are several public transport infrastructure investments which, at least in the short run, would not have been viable given the existing local responsibility for such issues.
The urban toll cordons usually result in some extraordinary public funding. In that sense they constitute a financial package created through a Dutch treat between the state and the motorists. The first packages were ?road packages? in the sense that most of the funds were used for public roads. In the more recent packages, the funds are to an increasing extent used to finance investments in public transport infrastructure. Also, more actors are included in the Dutch treat, such as the railroad authorities and local authorities. Our research suggests that some of this development is a result of a wider scope and approach to urban transport policy.
The organisation of the packages has also changed to include more actors, public transport authorities in particular. Furthermore, in certain areas and to a certain extent, authorities responsible for the planning of land use has been, at least in the initial phase, included into the policy process leading to the packages.
In this paper we will study the development in the scope of the toll packages in the four largest urban areas in Norway; Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Nord-Jæren. The three first has been in operation for a long time, whereas the last was introduced a few years ago. The cordon in Bergen has been prolonged and the ring in Oslo might be prolonged. In all of these new packages the scope has been widened.
We will examine the toll financed packages by first describing the packages and comparing their contents. We will also show how they have evolved from simple ?road packages? to more urban ?transportation? packages, which also include investments in public transport infrastructure as well as roads. When describing the contents of the packages, we will focus on the financing scheme, the revenue use as well as ambitions to include other important elements (such as parking policy, mobility management and road pricing) in the packages.
Having described the packages, we will give an overview of the Norwegian historical and legal framework allowing such alternative financing schemes. This has also evolved over time. The most recent development is the inclusion of an incentive mechanism for increased public transport and the trial scheme for alternative organisation of urban transport policy. In sum, these descriptions will give us the opportunity to more thoroughly discuss the relation between the packages and the goals of sustainable transport and land use.
The paper will be based on research we are currently doing for the Norwegian Ministry of Transportation and for the EU through the REVENUE project.
Association for European Transport