Improving and optimising road pricing in Copenhagen

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    The question whether to introduce toll rings or road pricing in Copenhagen has been discussed intensively during the last 10 years. The main results of previous analyses are that none of the systems would make a positive contribution at present, when considered from a socio-economic view. Even though quite a number of proposed charging systems have been examined only a few pricing strategies have been investigated. This paper deals with the optimisation of different designs for a road pricing system in the Greater Copenhagen area with respect to temporal and spatial differentiation of the pricing levels. A detailed transport model was used to describe the demand effects. The model was based on data from a real test of road pricing on 500 car drivers. The paper compares the price systems with regard to traffic effects and generalised costs for users and society. It is shown how important it is to evaluate different temporal and spatial charge settings for a given road pricing system. In particular, the kilometre-based system could be considerably improved. By optimising the system it became profitable with regard to generalised user costs. However, even though the best toll ring could be considerably improved, it did not reach break-even with regard to generalised user costs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Transport
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)123-134
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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