Transportation policymakers are increasingly considering congestion pricing a promising option for addressing urban traffic-congestion problems. While some congestion pricing projects have been undertaken in the United States, many proposals have been rejected based on worries that congestion pricing is inequitable. This report looks at the evidence that might support or negate this claim. As congestion pricing has been both studied and implemented more widely, a body of evidence based on both real-world implementations and models of proposed and hypothetical congestion pricing systems has been growing. While a number of papers have been published in this area, it has been difficult to reach general conclusions about whether congestion pricing is equitable. This report provides an overview of the literature from both economists and transportation planners to highlight what is known about the equity implications of congestion pricing.
This research was sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and was conducted under the auspices of theTransportation, Space, and Technology (TST) Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE).
This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.