9 21 07 JPC


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Steve Heminger Executive Director, MTC Joint Policy Committee September 21, 2007 Getting the Price Right

Transportation 2035 Vision Performance Targets: 

Transportation 2035 Vision Performance Targets ECONOMY: Reduce congestion (delay) Governor’s Strategic Growth Plan: 26% below 2005 levels by 2020 Target: 20% below 2006 levels by 2035 EQUITY: Reduce the share of income spent by low-income households on housing and transportation Center for Housing Policy 2006 report: Bay Area households 10% above national average Target: 10% reduction by 2035


ENVIRONMENT: Reduce Vehicle Emissions and Vehicle Miles Traveled Carbon Dioxide Governor’s Strategic Growth Plan: 1990 level by 2020 and 80% below 1990 by 2050 2006 CA Global Warming Solutions Act: 1990 level by 2020 Target: 40% below 1990 level by 2035 Particulate Matter State Standard PM2.5: 10% below 2006 by 2035 State Standard PM10: 45% below 2006 by 2035 Target: Same Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) SB 375 (prior to amendment): 10% below 2006 by 2030 Target: 10% below 2006 by 2035

The Limits of Infrastructure Investment: 

The Limits of Infrastructure Investment

Transportation 2030 Investments: 

Transportation 2030 Investments Transit (63%) Maintenance (51%) Efficiency (1%) Expansion (11%) Roads (37%) Maintenance (29%) Efficiency (3%) Expansion (5%)

Transit Spending as Percent of Funding in Long-Range Transportation Plan: 

Transit Spending as Percent of Funding in Long-Range Transportation Plan

Highway Expansion as Percent of Funding in Long-Range Transportation Plan: 

Highway Expansion as Percent of Funding in Long-Range Transportation Plan

Transportation 2030 Performance: 

Transportation 2030 Performance Source: Transportation 2030 Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report

Transportation 2030 Vision: 

Transportation 2030 Vision “In the long run, building unpriced road capacity in a growing region is fighting a losing battle with traffic congestion.”

The Impact of Pricing Policies: 

The Impact of Pricing Policies

Peak Pricing Common in Many U.S. Industries: 

Peak Pricing Common in Many U.S. Industries Telephone Charges Hotel Rates Air Fares Movie Tickets

… But Not in the Transportation Sector: 

… But Not in the Transportation Sector

Top Ten Congested Metro Areas: 

Top Ten Congested Metro Areas Source: Texas Transportation Institute, 2007

European/Asian Model: Cordon/Area Pricing: 

European/Asian Model: Cordon/Area Pricing Stockholm Singapore London

Small Charges Can Reduce Traffic By A Lot: Stockholm: 

Small Charges Can Reduce Traffic By A Lot: Stockholm Toll per trip as low as $1.50 9% to 26% reduction in traffic at cordon locations 10% to 14% reduction in inner city emissions 40,000 increase in transit trips per day Source: IBM

Higher Charges Even More Effective: London: 

Higher Charges Even More Effective: London Traffic reduction within in the zone (-30%) Travel time reliability improvement (+30%) Transit ridership increase (2%) Travel time reduction for trips into the zone (-14%) Source: Transport for London Toll: $16 per day

U.S. Model: HOT Lanes: 

U.S. Model: HOT Lanes Orange County (1995) San Diego (1998) Houston (1998) Minneapolis (2005) Denver (2006) Seattle (2008) Miami (2009) Bay Area - I-680 (2010)

HOT Lanes Achieve Modest Success: 

HOT Lanes Achieve Modest Success Orange County Used by all income groups and occupation categories Toll lanes double vehicle throughput San Diego Carpooling up 58% since I-15 HOT lane opened Revenues fund express bus Minneapolis Travel speeds in general purpose lanes up 2% to 5% Corridor crashes down 12% Revenues fund express bus

HOT Lanes Are Popular: 

HOT Lanes Are Popular Minneapolis: What do you think of allowing single drivers to use the carpool lanes by paying a toll? After 6 months of operation Source: NuStats Presentation

Proposed Bay Area HOT Network: 

Proposed Bay Area HOT Network Revenues could cover costs * Net revenue over 30 years Net revenue from converted lanes* Capital cost to close gaps Billions (2006 $) Low est. High est.


But… HOT lanes are popular because motorists can choose to use them – or choose not to That choice also limits the effectiveness of HOT lanes as a congestion relief strategy for most motorists

Cordon Pricing in the U.S.?: 

Cordon Pricing in the U.S.? San Francisco? New York?

Urban Partnership Program: 

Urban Partnership Program $160 million grant from U.S. DOT Focus is Doyle Drive congestion pricing Would complete funding package for one of worst “structurally deficient” highway bridges in California Contingent on state Legislative authorization for tolling on Doyle Drive

The Politics of Congestion Pricing: 

The Politics of Congestion Pricing


Why is paying more (higher tolls) for a scarce commodity (road capacity) such a hard sell (in transportation)?

Are There Technology Obstacles?: 

Are There Technology Obstacles? © 2006 John O’Brien from cartoonbank.com. All Rights Reserved.

Not Anymore: 

Not Anymore

Is the Public Opposed?: 

Is the Public Opposed?

Not if You Ask Them: 

Not if You Ask Them Support for Congestion Pricing 1995 Bay Area Poll: $3 peak toll 2000 Bay Crossings Study: $4 peak toll

Is Pricing Fair to the Poor?: 

Is Pricing Fair to the Poor? The answer depends on two things: Who pays the higher toll How the revenue is spent

Who Pays: 

Who Pays Household Income: Average Household vs. Bay Bridge Peak Commuters

Robin Hood Spending: 

Robin Hood Spending Travel alternatives – transit, carpooling, vanpooling Off-peak discounts – lower tolls in non-commute hours Lifeline toll – similar to public utility programs for low-income customers

Annual Household Income: Comparison of Transit Riders and Bay Area Population: 

Annual Household Income: Comparison of Transit Riders and Bay Area Population

Transportation 2035 Vision Sensitivity Tests: 

Transportation 2035 Vision Sensitivity Tests

Pricing Analysis : 

Assess discount programs for low-income travelers Carbon/VMT Tax Double auto operating costs (from $0.23 to $0.46/mile) Congestion Pricing $0.25/mile on congested freeways Parking Charges $1/hour surcharge ($8/day for work trips & $1/trip for non-work trips) Pricing Analysis (Year 2035 costs in 2007$)

Toll Comparison: 

Toll Comparison Cents per Mile +23 cents – auto operating +25 cents – congestion charge +36 cents – parking fee

Traffic Congestion = Evil #1 Congestion Pricing = Evil #2: 

Traffic Congestion = Evil #1 Congestion Pricing = Evil #2


“ When faced with a choice between two evils, I always choose the one I haven’t tried before” Mae West

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