Accuracy of the Gothenburg congestion charges

Publisher's full text
Jens West
Leonid Engelson

This paper explores the accuracy of the transport model forecast of the Gothenburg congestion charges, implemented in 2013. The design of the charging system implies that the path disutility cannot be computed as a sum of link attributes. The route choice model is therefore implemented as a hierarchical algorithm, applying a continuous value of travel time (VTT) distribution. The VTT distribution was estimated from stated choice (SC) data. However, based on experience of impact forecasting with a similar model and of impact outcome of congestion charges in Stockholm, the estimated VTT distribution had to be stretched to the right. We find that the forecast traffic reductions across the cordon and travel time gains were close to those observed in the peak. However, the reduction in traffic across the cordon was underpredicted off-peak. The necessity to make the adjustment indicates that the VTT inferred from SC data does not reveal the travellers’ preferences, or that there are factors determining route choice other than those included in the model: travel distance, travel time and congestion charge.

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