Cover: Equity and Congestion Pricing

Equity and Congestion Pricing

A Review of the Evidence

Published May 21, 2009

by Liisa Ecola, Thomas Light

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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).

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