A New Model for Road Pricing in Catalonia

A New Model for Road Pricing in Catalonia


Aleix Pons-Rigat, CENIT - Center for Innovation in Transport, Sergi Sauri, CENIT - Center for Innovation in Transport, Mateu Turro, CENIT - Center for Innovation in Transport


A new model for road pricing and funding in Catalonia is proposed based on the determination of costs/revenues matrices by several categories and the definition of policy indicators. Transition scenarios are also assessed.


Motorways in Catalonia are mostly managed as private concessions. Whereas the first development of the network has been funded through user tolls, a shadow toll approach was adopted for the motorways built in the last decades. This leads to an uneven distribution of road user charges among the motorway network and, therefore, to distortions in routes assignments and to territorial inequity. Besides, the decrease in revenues from fuel and vehicles taxes hampers the mid-term financial sustainability of the road system. Mobility problems related to road congestion and air pollution should also be addressed through an adequate pricing, especially in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. To deal with these issues, a road network-wide pricing model and a new management structure are proposed. The road pricing scheme is based on the new Euro vignette Directive and aims at setting a sustainable model both in terms of mobility and funding.
In the first place, a benchmarking analysis of the existing road pricing schemes is performed with particular emphasis on the management structure and the earmarking of toll revenues. Then, revenues from actual taxes and tolls of the Catalan road system are deeply reviewed together with the costs of infrastructure and externalities. From this analysis, revenues/costs matrices are defined for different categories, including type of vehicle, type of road, geographical area and road ownership. This constitutes an appropriate decision-making tool to assess how revenues are linked to costs and the economic impacts of a new pricing scheme on each stakeholder.
According to specific short-term and long-term policy objectives and relying on the resulting revenues/costs matrices, a number of performance indicators of the pricing and funding model are defined. These are used to evaluate several models to choose the best suited to the particular context. Finally, transition scenarios are defined to adapt the actual system to the proposed one by carefully taking into account the acceptability of each step.


Association for European Transport