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Cordon Pricing Consistent with the Physics of Overcrowding

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Document pages: 22 pages

Abstract: This paper describes the modeling of recurring congestion in a network. It is shown that the standard economic models of marginal cost cannot describe precisely traffic congestion in networks during time-dependent conditions. Following a macroscopic traffic approach, we describe the equilibrium solution for a congested network in the no-toll case. A dynamic model of cordon-based congestion pricing (such as for the morning commute) for networks is developed consistent with the physics of traffic. The paper combines Vickrey’s theory with a macroscopic traffic model, which is readily observable with existing monitoring technologies. The paper also examines some policy implications of the cordon-based pricing to treat equity and reliability issues, i.e. in what mobility level a city should choose to operate. An application of the model in a downtown area shows that these schemes can improve mobility and relieve congestion in cities.

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