The Optimal Coarse Toll for Heterogeneous Commuters in the Morning Commute

The theory of first-best congestion pricing tells us that a time-dependent toll can be used to eliminate congestion in the morning commute problem for identical commuters in a corridor with a single bottleneck. In reality, however, it is often impractical to implement such a fine-gained toll because it would require too frequent changes of the toll. This research investigates a coarse-grained, second best tolling scheme in which a flat toll is collected during a particular time period in the morning peak. In this scheme, both the toll and its duration are subject to optimization. The research will first find the commuter departure profiles under this coarse tolling scheme for identical commuters, then for heterogeneous commuters who have different values of time. Based on these profiles, we will find the optimal toll levels and durations for both identical and heterogeneous commuters, and investigate the efficiency loss of these tolls as compared with the first-best toll, and whether these toll schemes actually benefit every traveler group (pareto-improving). Although such a tolling scheme cannot completely eliminate congestion, it is much easier to implement, and the tools developed in our study can help quantify the benefits derived from this toll scheme.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      California Department of Transportation

      1227 O Street
      Sacramento, CA  United States  95843
    • Performing Organizations:

      Sustainable Transportation Center/ITS-Davis

      University of California, Davis
      Davis, CA  United States  95616
    • Principal Investigators:

      Zhang, Michael

    • Start Date: 20091001
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20110930
    • Source Data: RiP Project 28175

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01468029
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: University of California Transportation Center/Institute of Transportation Studies
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0022, R04-5
    • Files: UTC, RiP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:44PM