Congestion Pricing Response: Study for Potential Implementation in the Metropolitan Atlanta Area
Ross, Catherine L.
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Traffic congestion is an increasing burden on American cities. Congested highways delay truck transport and commuters, causing economic and social losses to local businesses and residents and making the area as a whole less attractive to potential residents, investors and visitors. Drivers suffer increased stress and the resulting negative health effects. Long delays in car travel leads to greater amounts of pollutants being emitted into the atmosphere. As a result, one of the foremost challenges confronting towns, cities, regions and transportation providers is the reduction of congestion. Perhaps more importantly, the increasing cost of oil and our current dependence on it make even clearer the need for the introduction of greater efficiency, better management, more sustainable practices, and differential pricing in transportation system planning. There is an even greater expectation that congestion pricing will be a new source of funds to maintain existing and construct new infrastructure. The key objective of this project was to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of public perceptions and acceptability of potential congestion-pricing implementation and deployment strategies for the metropolitan Atlanta area, in order to help guide GDOT in the siting, evaluation, and implementation of future pricing strategies. The project included consideration of new technologies to be used in implementing congestion-pricing schemes, as well as potential consumer objections to congestion pricing and a summary of the most significant inputs to models or efforts to forecast consumer responses to pricing programs. The research effort will provide a comprehensive examination of public perceptions and preferences in regard to the suitability of potential pricing applications in metropolitan Atlanta. The project results include recommendations of strategies to implement congestion pricing, as well as results from an emissions modeling framework and congestion pricing analysis.