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Thread: 'Pay as you go' road charge plan

  1. #1
    Cyburbian circusoflife's avatar
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    'Pay as you go' road charge plan

    driving in the UK possible alternative - using satellite and GPS technology...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4610755.stm

    BBC reader feedback:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/4610901.stm

    Moderator note:
    In future, please put a bit more thought into your threads rather than just posting urls. I will not delete in this instance as discussion has been initiated.
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 06 Jun 2005 at 11:45 AM.
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  2. #2
    jimi_d's avatar
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    This is a really good idea. The main problem I see with it is foreigners bringing cars and (particularly) lorries into the UK.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jimi_d
    This is a really good idea. The main problem I see with it is foreigners bringing cars and (particularly) lorries into the UK.
    Why don't they just base those charges on how much fuel is used? Under that scheme, the more one drives and/or the heavier the vehicle (and thus the more 'utility' that one derives from the roads), the more one would pay. It sounds to me like it would be very easy to figure out and collect, too, without needing any fancy technologies that could easily fail or be defeated and would answer any 'privacy' concerns that the public may have.

    Mike

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Finally, instead of financially punishing people who don't drive, this is a system that makes those who truly use roads the most, pay the lionshare of the costs as they should.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  5. #5
    Cyburbian chukky's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    Why don't they just base those charges on how much fuel is used? Under that scheme, the more one drives and/or the heavier the vehicle (and thus the more 'utility' that one derives from the roads), the more one would pay. It sounds to me like it would be very easy to figure out and collect, too, without needing any fancy technologies that could easily fail or be defeated and would answer any 'privacy' concerns that the public may have.

    Mike
    charging based on fuel consumption wouldn't allow for heavier penalties to those who choose to use major highways in peak hours. In fact, as most cars use more petrol on slower roads, and less on nice big flat smooth freeways, it could cost you more to drive down the road to the shops through a few sets of traffic lights, than it would to go halfway across the country... thereby encouraging people on to the motorways rather then relieving congestion on these major arterials.

    c.

  6. #6
    jimi_d's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    Why don't they just base those charges on how much fuel is used? Under that scheme, the more one drives and/or the heavier the vehicle (and thus the more 'utility' that one derives from the roads), the more one would pay. It sounds to me like it would be very easy to figure out and collect, too, without needing any fancy technologies that could easily fail or be defeated and would answer any 'privacy' concerns that the public may have.

    Mike
    The problem with that is that it unfairly penalises people in rural areas, whilst doing nothing about the congestion in urban areas. Our current fuel tax system has to be taxed the same everywhere - or people would just drive to the countryside to buy fuel.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Old thread, new developments.

    As techie news goes, this is more important than it might seem.

    Also with regard to future expansion and development, the satellite-based toll collection system differs fundamentally from the microwave solution. "In the GNSS toll collection system we see a solution that is better enabled for the future", stresses Höpfel, "especially with regard to flexibility when it comes to extending toll collection to every road category, every category of vehicle and, what's more, in terms of cost efficiency in implementation and operation. With regard to integration into European route networks, GNSS toll collection can also be expected to be the more advantageous alternative."

    http://www.industry.siemens.de/traff...ls.php?id=1729
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    Why don't they just base those charges on how much fuel is used? Under that scheme, the more one drives and/or the heavier the vehicle (and thus the more 'utility' that one derives from the roads), the more one would pay. It sounds to me like it would be very easy to figure out and collect, too, without needing any fancy technologies that could easily fail or be defeated and would answer any 'privacy' concerns that the public may have.

    Mike

    A second problem with this scenario is that with the introduction of Alt fuels/fuel cells/and other technologies. Cars either don't use any gasoline or very little compared to what they used to use.

    Now, back in the days of eveyone upgrading to SUVs, the Gas Tax was the way to go, but now that folks are opting to drive less, buy more fuel efficient vehicles, and take tranist more often, it is really sending state and federal gas tax revenues on a bad direction... down.

    I always though it was ironic how the system was set up, it seems fair, but much of the gas tax is taken off the top to pay for transit and bike paths. Just think what sad shape transit would be in if there were fewer cars! Another odditiy is that we almost require people to cause additional congestion by building further out so that VMT increases so we can have an increase in gas tax funding to fix congestion problems that are much closer in to the center city than the development, and this dispairity increases every year.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Portland State's Center for Transportation Studies has weekly seminars that are available online:

    http://www.cts.pdx.edu/seminars.htm

    and this topic was addressed by a U.C. Berkeley professor named Martin Wachs in a seminar entitled "A Quiet Revolution in Transportation Finance" (scroll down to April 15th 2005).

    It's been a little while since I watched it, but I remember the main point being that tolls are inherently more desirable than fuel taxes as a user fee, but due to the logistics of collection, fuel taxes have in the past been much more widely used. The "quiet revolution" refers to the fact that under the fuel tax regime, roads have gradually come to be financed more and more by the public and less by the actual users of the system.

    He's a good speaker - anyone with a serious interest in this issue should watch at least part of the presentation.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mountain Magic
    It's been a little while since I watched it, but I remember the main point being that tolls are inherently more desirable than fuel taxes as a user fee, but due to the logistics of collection, fuel taxes have in the past been much more widely used. The "quiet revolution" refers to the fact that under the fuel tax regime, roads have gradually come to be financed more and more by the public and less by the actual users of the system.
    One of the chief problems with this system is that the interstate system (easiest to toll) closely follows the U.S. Highway system. For Example US-12 follows I-90/I-94 from Detroit to Montana! The toll gradually you would need to start with the most desirable roads (ones that carry the most traffic), and those would be urban interstates or those that connect along major corridors. This would cause havoc on the non-interstate arterial network and of course the trucking lobby would fight this.

    Personally I think one of the most important things we can do is to better relate how land use and transportation function together as a way to increase the functionality of the system. Then we can apply safety and intelligent transportation system countermeasures to ensure a system that moves as many people and goods without having to add all sorts of capacity to our roadway system. Remember folks, a road built today will only last about 30 years before some sort of major reconstruction is needed, maybe its more in the south, but that is what is killing us, costs, and not an efficient use of the current capacity.

    If we look at pay as you go, and we do so strictly as a user fee, should we also increase the cost of transit to reflect the real cost of providing that service? In Michigan the users of the transit system pay very little of its cost. Most of which is paid for through gas taxes and local millages (in heavy transit cities, you can expect only 10 percent of the trips by transit (throwing out the extremes)). If it cost $5 to take the bus 8 miles to work, what would that due to the roadway system? Conversely, if we took the transit funding out of the gas tax, what kind of increase could you expect for maintaining the roads? Obvioulsy while this person makes some very astute observations, transportation funding is not simple in the least.

    I would argue that it is important for the road users to pay for transit, as paying for it provides them an incentive to use it whenever possible (this is never sold this way though). Perhaps a higher gas tax in urban areas, with a very large buffer area would be a way to make those who use the more intensely used roads pay more?

    However, one can also argue that the urban areas already subsidize the cost of providing access to rural parcels, as many major collector roads in rural areas get AADT's of less than that of what would be considered a local road. Actual frontage of rural parcels is much greater on the average than urban parcels so should not the cost of providing access to these parcels be more? Would not cheaper gasoline prices in rural areas create an exhurbia with emptied out cities surrounded by large country lots?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  11. #11
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    One of the chief problems with this system is that the interstate system (easiest to toll) closely follows the U.S. Highway system. For Example US-12 follows I-90/I-94 from Detroit to Montana! The toll gradually you would need to start with the most desirable roads (ones that carry the most traffic), and those would be urban interstates or those that connect along major corridors. This would cause havoc on the non-interstate arterial network and of course the trucking lobby would fight this.

    Personally I think one of the most important things we can do is to better relate how land use and transportation function together as a way to increase the functionality of the system. Then we can apply safety and intelligent transportation system countermeasures to ensure a system that moves as many people and goods without having to add all sorts of capacity to our roadway system. Remember folks, a road built today will only last about 30 years before some sort of major reconstruction is needed, maybe its more in the south, but that is what is killing us, costs, and not an efficient use of the current capacity.

    If we look at pay as you go, and we do so strictly as a user fee, should we also increase the cost of transit to reflect the real cost of providing that service? In Michigan the users of the transit system pay very little of its cost. Most of which is paid for through gas taxes and local millages (in heavy transit cities, you can expect only 10 percent of the trips by transit (throwing out the extremes)). If it cost $5 to take the bus 8 miles to work, what would that due to the roadway system? Conversely, if we took the transit funding out of the gas tax, what kind of increase could you expect for maintaining the roads? Obvioulsy while this person makes some very astute observations, transportation funding is not simple in the least.

    I would argue that it is important for the road users to pay for transit, as paying for it provides them an incentive to use it whenever possible (this is never sold this way though). Perhaps a higher gas tax in urban areas, with a very large buffer area would be a way to make those who use the more intensely used roads pay more?

    However, one can also argue that the urban areas already subsidize the cost of providing access to rural parcels, as many major collector roads in rural areas get AADT's of less than that of what would be considered a local road. Actual frontage of rural parcels is much greater on the average than urban parcels so should not the cost of providing access to these parcels be more? Would not cheaper gasoline prices in rural areas create an exhurbia with emptied out cities surrounded by large country lots?
    I think the cost of transit should go up as the cost to provide transit increases. This is only one reason I advocate for automated transit, whenever possible.
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

  12. #12
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by safege
    I think the cost of transit should go up as the cost to provide transit increases. This is only one reason I advocate for automated transit, whenever possible.
    hmm have you seen our People Mover?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  13. #13
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    hmm have you seen our People Mover?
    I think you meant that as a good thing. (pretty sure)

    I used to advocate for above beam modes, but suspended steel modes are faster, more manuverable, and winter capable.

    Being automated is the most important feature. Anything automated can survive our weird economy today.
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    -Larry Wall

  14. #14
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by safege
    I think you meant that as a good thing. (pretty sure)
    Nah thats sarcasm.. there is a reason why they only built two of these things (Detroit and Scarbourough). While it is truly a facinating concept, people avoid it on off peak hours as there is no physical security personnel. It also costs a tone of money to operate over other modes, particularly on a per ride basis. I'd hate to pay their electric bill.

    I know that Chicago has similar tracks running to Midway, but folks in Chicago are more accepting of in the air trains as it is part of the cultural landscape. People here are very vocal about how ugly it looks and that it blocks sightlines.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  15. #15
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Nah thats sarcasm.. there is a reason why they only built two of these things (Detroit and Scarbourough). While it is truly a facinating concept, people avoid it on off peak hours as there is no physical security personnel. It also costs a tone of money to operate over other modes, particularly on a per ride basis. I'd hate to pay their electric bill.

    I know that Chicago has similar tracks running to Midway, but folks in Chicago are more accepting of in the air trains as it is part of the cultural landscape. People here are very vocal about how ugly it looks and that it blocks sightlines.
    Ahhh, the CTA's 'Orange' line (the fairly new L line between the downtown 'Loop' elevated and MDW) is a conventional heavy-rail transit line that is as fully staffed and integrated into their system as all of their other lines.

    NOW, there IS an automated 'people mover' at ORD, but it only connects the terminals with each other and with a couple of remote parking lots and, I believe, a very close by METRA commuter rail station. It functions a lot like a horizontal elevator.

    Mike

  16. #16
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    NOW, there IS an automated 'people mover' at ORD, but it only connects the terminals with each other and with a couple of remote parking lots and, I believe, a very close by METRA commuter rail station. It functions a lot like a horizontal elevator.
    I've been on that thing at ORD, similar things exist in LasVegas, in fact the Detroit airport has one too on the INSIDE of the terminal. However, these are operated within a contained system (casino to casino; or past airport security). Those use updated technology, in fact the one between the bellagio and the monte carlo in vegas uses a conveyer belt! None of these applications are in places like city centers or running down the middle of a boulevard.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  17. #17
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    I've been on that thing at ORD, similar things exist in LasVegas, in fact the Detroit airport has one too on the INSIDE of the terminal. However, these are operated within a contained system (casino to casino; or past airport security). Those use updated technology, in fact the one between the bellagio and the monte carlo in vegas uses a conveyer belt! None of these applications are in places like city centers or running down the middle of a boulevard.
    The monorail is in Las Vegas, and will connect to the new airport section soon. The monorail is automated, and not going broke. No State subsidy, but not covering the bond repayment, at least not yet.

    Don't get me wrong, it's not suspended, small, and slow. Among the reasons that I left the monorail society last year was the promotion of these Alwegs.
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by safege
    The monorail is in Las Vegas, and will connect to the new airport section soon. The monorail is automated, and not going broke. No State subsidy, but not covering the bond repayment, at least not yet.
    I'm sure that thiere are a lot of private interests that go into this. I've not been to Vegas for several years now. It is my understanding the spine of this network was the MGM Grand to Bally's line, and this has been reconstructed/extended to the convention center. Are the privately run ones that connect up hotels such as the Bellagio/Monte Carlo still in operation or were these replaced with a more regional system?

    The major problem with Detroit's system is that the lines to feed it were never built. This has left the DPM with high ridership only on special event days. Much has been done to incorporate the DPM into traffic generators, but the distance it travels is so small, and since it only runs in one directions, a lot of times it makes better sense to walk than ride.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  19. #19
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Unless you have viable alternative mode of transportation, a "pay-as-you-go" system is unduly burdensome to low-income residents.

    The question that always needs to be asked is why are we doing this? Is if to improve congestions? Shape development patterns? In a situation like Detroit, toll roads and congestion pricing would ultimately hurt poor central-city residents more than it would encourage suburbanites to move closer to the city, especially when so many Detroit residents are dependent upon the suburbs for jobs.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  20. #20
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage
    Unless you have viable alternative mode of transportation, a "pay-as-you-go" system is unduly burdensome to low-income residents.
    That is the point I was trying to legitimately make a few posts back. The rural poor have long trips everywhere, and urban poor are stuck with underfunded transit and high auto ownership costs (insurance is at least double in poor urban neighborhoods than poor rural).
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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