Authors: Teddy Forscher, Alexandre Bayen, PhD and Susan Shaheen, PhD
Date: January, 2018
Abstract: Pricing transportation infrastructure, either to achieve a desired outcome or to raise revenue, is a concept that has been present in economics and transportation since the early to mid-20th century. Different approaches to pricing (e.g., area-wide pricing, vehicle miles traveled, express lanes, etc.) have been adopted in parts of Europe and Asia; some strategies cover all road users, some only passenger vehicles, and others only commercial and goods movement vehicles. Pricing, as a revenue source, has recently gained momentum in the U.S., driven by federal legislation (MAP-21; FAST Act) and state-run pilot programs (CADOT, ODOT, MNDOT, CODOT, WADOT). The time is ripe to scale pricing strategies, not only to create a sustainable source of funding for infrastructure and public transit, but also to ensure that all road users contribute direct user fees.