Consider advantages of open-source designs and beware of legal challenges in road pricing systems procurement.

Experience from road pricing programs in Europe and Asia

Sweden; Czech Republic; Germany; Netherlands; Singapore; England

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

Congestion pricing programs face political, institutional, and public acceptance challenges and concerns everywhere in the world. Over a 12-day period, from December 7 to 18, 2009, a multidisciplinary scan team from the United States interacted with the experts in Europe and Asia to develop an understanding of factors that contributed to the successful implementation of road pricing. Based on their international experience, the scan team offered the following lessons learned on addressing issues related to procurement of technology and associated legalities.
  • Consider advantages of open-source designs in road pricing systems procurement. Open-source system designs create a competitive bidding environment for capital and operating costs associated with initial implementation, including system development and integration, roadside and in-vehicle equipment, construction, and back office.

    Germany, The Netherlands: The German truck tolling system contract required a minimum of two vendors capable of providing in-vehicle units to ensure a competitive pricing environment. The Dutch system planning has expanded on this concept by proposing to allow multiple vendor solutions, creating a competitive environment for equipment and systems development and an open environment for value-added services that may defray costs and support public acceptance.

    Singapore: In Singapore, second-generation stored-value smart cards for in-vehicle units are designed with an open standard to be interoperable with the transit system and permit interfaces with financial institutions and businesses. The new smart cards will allow value-added services and cashless payment options for many goods and services.
  • Beware of potential legal challenges to procurement decisions and build contingencies in schedule.

    Czech Republic, Germany,Sweden: Road pricing system contracts have been competitive and lucrative for the businesses supporting them, inviting contentious legal challenges to procurement decisions. Legal procurement challenges from vendors in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Stockholm affected implementation schedules and some system requirements. Procurements of this type are often delayed by challenges to the selection process, so it is advisable to build in schedule contingencies to accommodate these circumstances.

    The Netherlands: The complexities of the Dutch procurement plans for open systems designs and significant private sector participation led the Netherlands to employ extensive risk assessment and cost estimation planning to assess private sector procurement options.
Road pricing programs implemented in Europe and Asia offer important lessons on exploring the use of market-based approaches to address traffic congestion and improve mobility. Procurement for a road pricing program must include adequate consideration of system design options (e.g., open-source design) and potential legal challenges to contracting decisions.

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Reducing Congestion and Funding Transportation Using Road Pricing In Europe and Singapore

Author: Robert Arnold, Vance C. Smith, John Q. Doan, Rodney N. Barry, Jayme L. Blakesley, Patrick T. DeCorla-Souza, Mark F. Muriello, Gummada N. Murthy, Patty K. Rubstello, Nick A. Thompson

Published By: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT

Source Date: 12/01/2010

URL: http://international.fhwa.dot.gov/pubs/pl10030/pl10030.pdf

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Lesson of the Month for October, 2011 !

Benefits From This Source

After implementation of the congestion charge in London, the number of vehicles entering the charging zone decreased by 25 percent, travel speeds increased by 30 percent, trip times decreased by 14 percent, and traffic delays plummeted by 25 percent.

In Germany, vehicle-miles traveled using cleaner trucks (Euro 4 and 5) rose 60 percent from 2 percent in 2005 to over 62 percent in 2009 because of the nationwide heavy-goods-vehicle tolling program.

In Singapore, the Electronic Road Pricing program has enabled maintaining target speeds of 45 to 65 kilometers per hour on expressways and 20 to 30 kilometers per hour on arterials.

The Stockholm congestion tax project reduced traffic congestion by 20 percent and vehicle emissions by 10 to 14 percent in the Central Business District.

Lessons From This Source

Be prepared to face the opportunities and challenges posed by political timetables, project deadlines, as well as pricing-equity issues for road pricing procurement and implementation.

Beware that schedule and costs of road pricing projects are affected by various factors including legislative outcomes, clarity and specificity of scope, and contracting methods.

Consider advantages of open-source designs and beware of legal challenges in road pricing systems procurement.

Consider stakeholder outreach and education, transport modes that offer an alternative to driving, performance measurement, and area geography with high importance in the planning phase for road pricing programs.

Create performance standards for operational effectiveness of a pricing program, define business rules for back-office operations, and refine operations practices based on needs.

Define clear goals and pay attention to key institutional and technical factors for successful implementation of road pricing programs.

Develop a statutory and legal framework for as a foundational step for levying road pricing fees and utilizing revenues.

Develop public outreach programs based on the cultural and political context of the project location and provide clear, salient, and timely messages about the purpose and benefits of congestion pricing.

Enforce congestion toll collection and create integration linkages between pricing system and motor vehicle registries to process violations.

For successful implementation of a road pricing program, strive for simplicity in policy goals and strong championing of the program by the executive and legislative leaders.

Understand that while the viability of pricing programs is impacted by political actions, pricing signal is a potential tool for developing a sustainable transportation system.

Use business and functional requirements to guide technology selection for a road pricing program and understand that the technology selected initially evolves over time.

Lesson ID: 2011-00589