Congestion Charging Scheme for Gothenburg



Congestion Charging Scheme for Gothenburg

Authors

D van Amelsfort, K Brundell-Freij, WSP, SE; P Jonsson, Swedish National Road Administration, SE

Description

In the paper we present the political process, the alternatives we investigates and how they were appraised for the design of congestion charging in Gothenburg, Sweden. We also compare with Stockholm.

Abstract

In this paper we will discuss the design process including the design alternatives and their effects of a congestion charging scheme for Gothenburg, Sweden. The Swedish national government will decide on implementing the scheme in March 2010 and the outcome of this decision and further details on the implementation process up till January 2012 will be discussed as well. We will also compare the situation in Gothenburg to Stockholm. What lessons from Stockholm were transferable to Gothenburg and how important are the differences in land use and transportation networks between Gothenburg and Stockholm in the scheme design.

Starting in September 2009 the Swedish National Road Administration together with the City of Gothenburg and the Regional authorities have been designing a congestion charging scheme for Gothenburg which is to reduce congestion, improve the environment and finance a package of infrastructure which mainly focusses on improving public transportation alternatives.

In the design process was split up in different phases where the result of each phase consisted of a set of road pricing scheme designs, their expected effects, and recommendations on how the proceed. The first phase started in September 2009 and ended October XX 2009, The second phase started directly after and ended December 24 2009. The third phase started in January 2010 and is expected to end in March 2010 with a finalised system design to be included as an appendix in the congestion charging tax laws by the National government. Between each of these design phases a political process was organised to provide feedback and focus in the how the proceed in the next phase.

In the first phase different zoning systems were investigated which included single large zone around Gothenburg, single small zones around the center and combinations in multiple zone systems. In the second phase the design efforts focussed on a small single zone with a focus on the center of Gothenburg. One of the alternative presented in December was chosen for further investigation of more detailed design including differentations on the charges in time, place, and vehicle types.

The design process was organised into different groups of which the largest groups were the: steering group, system design group, effects and analyses group. These groups changes in size and personell during the different phases, and different smaller groups were added when necessary. For example a technology group and a public transportation group.

In the design of the scheme the decision making relied on the assessment of effect using the Swedish national modelling system SAMPERS. The model results were input for analyses on changes in levels of congestion, use of public transportation, changes in social surplus, and revenue and financial models for the financing of the infrastructure package.

When comparing Gothenburg and Stockholm and the design of congestion charging the first apparant difference is that when Stockholm designed its system the primary objectives were related to congestion and the environment, while in Gothenburg there is a strong focus in infrastructure investment and revenue raising. The second main difference is that the levels of congestion in Gothenburg are much lower than in Stockholm and a third major difference is that the topology of Stockholm allows for a zone with a small amount of gantries and almost no route alternatives. In Gothenburg the network is denser with much more high quality route alternatives which makes it harder to introduce charges withóut large route choice changes and adverse effects on those roads.

Publisher

Association for European Transport