Toll charges reduce travel time

Sep 07, 2007

A smart introduction of a variable toll charge, with different rates at different departure times, reduces traffic jams. Even small toll charges can exert a large effect on the total travel time, concludes Dutch researcher Dusica Joksimovic.

Joksimovic developed a simulation model that can help policy makers to estimate the consequences of various toll charges. The model predicts, where, when and how much toll must be charged for the desired policy outcomes, such as reducing the total travel time of all travellers or maximising the toll incomes (revenues). Based on a toll value entered, the model iteratively calculates the impacts on road congestion and the total toll incomes and searches for an optimal composition of the toll charge.

The model contains a number of variables. For example, it takes into account the different characteristics of travellers. People who want to be at a preferred destination by a given time are more inclined to pay more during rush hours than people who want to travel as cheaply as possible and are flexible with respect to their arrival time. A flexible toll charging system in which car drivers must pay more at peak times than off-peak times leads to less traffic jams, but also maximum toll incomes.

Various factors play a role in the problem of toll charges: the government wants to minimise both the total travel time of all travellers and harmful environmental effects whilst at the same time maximising toll incomes to pay, for example, for roadworks. Individual motorists mainly want to make their journeys as quick and cheap as possible.

These considerations lead to a complex decision model in which the various variables are dependent on each other. The instrument that Joksimovic developed during her doctoral research can provide policy makers with a quicker insight into the outcomes of policy measures.

Source: NWO

Explore further: Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Facebook dressed down over 'real names' policy

7 hours ago

Facebook says it temporarily restored hundreds of deleted profiles of self-described drag queens and others, but declined to change a policy requiring account holders to use their real names rather than drag names such as ...

Far more displaced by disasters than conflict

7 hours ago

Disasters last year displaced three times more people than violent conflicts, showing the urgent need to improve resilience for vulnerable people when fighting climate change, according to a study issued ...

Recommended for you

Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

Sep 19, 2014

There's some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives' tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.

History books spark latest Texas classroom battle

Sep 16, 2014

As Texas mulls new history textbooks for its 5-plus million public school students, some academics are decrying lessons they say exaggerate the influence of Christian values on America's Founding Fathers.

Flatow, 'Science Friday' settle claims over grant

Sep 16, 2014

Federal prosecutors say radio host Ira Flatow and his "Science Friday" show that airs on many National Public Radio stations have settled civil claims that they misused money from a nearly $1 million federal ...

User comments : 0