Distributional Impacts of Congestion Charging



Distributional Impacts of Congestion Charging

Authors

B Norheim, A Ruud, Urbanet Research, NO

Description

Urbanet Research has analysed possible distribution of impacts of congestion charging. The results show that congestion charge will have a positive distributional impact compared to a general transport tax.

Abstract

On an assignment from the Norwegian Road Department, Urbanet Research has analysed possible distribution of impacts of congestion charging. The main issue in projects is how different groups of road-users will be affected by different types of congestion charging, depending on the design of the toll collection. Would a charge give unfortunate effects for certain groups, especially families with young children and groups with low income? Would a general tax on transport be a more fair distributed charge? The project?s main focus is which groups of road-users must pay, depending on how the money is collected.
The results show that congestion charge will have a positive distributional impact compared to a general transport tax: Congestion charge will affect road-users with high income and education more, and journeys that do not include bringing children to and from school or kindergarten.
Our analysis imply that families with children organize themselves so that journey to accompany children is made by that person in the family who doesn?t cross the congestion zone by car ? either by working more locally, or by travelling to work with public transport.
A general tax on transport gives more unfortunate effects than congestion charge because this kind of tax affect journeys made by groups with low income more, and those who bring children to/from kindergarten and school.
Method
We have used data from the national travel-habit survey 2005 to illustrate which groups that are affected by VEGPRISING in the four largest Norwegian urban areas (Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger), depending on arrangement and length of period of collection.
We?ve started looking at the congestion zones that were already established in the cities, and data about travel patterns over existing toll cordons. We have analysed the distributional impacts of congestion charging compared to a traditional Norwegian toll-road, and a general transport tax.
1) Congestion charge: In this analysis our starting point is congestion charge models that involve collection of charges in both peak hours. This means that we have analysed characteristics of the car journeys that are crossing the toll cordon in the morning and evening peak hours.
2) The Norwegian toll-road model: In these analysis we have looked at characteristics of car journeys that?s crossing the toll cordon day and night, and separated consequences of i) collection in one direction, and ii) collection in two directions.
3) General transport tax for motorists: As an alternative reference we have looked at the characteristics of journeys that today are not crossing the toll cordon. Some kind or another of taxation of all car journeys that are undertaken in the urban areas will also affect today?s journeys crossing the toll cordon. But to analyse the distribution of impacts it is relevant to see what separates i) journeys that are not affected by congestion charge or toll-road but affected by a general transport tax, from ii) journeys that are affected by both transport tax and by the more targeted charges.

Publisher

Association for European Transport