Authors: Dr. Gang Len Chang, Dr. Cinzia Cirillo, Nayel R. J. Urena Serulle & Pratt Hetrakul
Date: Dec. 2011
Road pricing has been advocated as an efficient travel demand management to alleviate congestion since the seminal work by Pigou (1920) and Knight (1924) (see Lindsey, 2006, for recent reviews). More specifically, dynamic toll pricing has received greater interest among policy makers and public agencies due to its potential for lowering energy costs for society. Some analytical studies (e.g., Arnott et al., 1990) have found that dynamic toll pricing generally yield greater efficiency gains than static toll pricing because the former reduce queueing delays by altering travelers’ departure times as well as routes.
The construction of the Inter-county Connector (ICC) has certainly offered the prospect of reducing travel time between the I-270 and I-95 corridors, and may potentially alleviate congestion on the I-270 and I-495. Given that the ICC relies on dynamic toll pricing scheme, its daily traffic volumes are governed by individual trip-makers’ perceived time and cost saving in the term of value of travel time (VOT). Moreover, the ability to realistically capture trip-makers’ responses to time-varying road charges in term of willingness to pay (WTP) for toll is essential for predicting network flows and network equilibrium assignment models. These behavioral characteristics of users vary across individuals. Therefore capturing the heterogeneity of users in this regard is critical in predicting the impact of dynamic pricing schemes (e.g., Lu et al., 2008).
This study proposes the model that enables practitioners to integrate user response to dynamic toll pricing. The analysis accounts for cost and time savings perceived by regional drivers and the users’ response to time-varying road charges. More specifically, the study captures difference in behavioral characteristics of the willingness to pay (WTP) for toll across users socioeconomics and trip related characteristics such as time of day,