Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working papers in Transport Economics,
CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI)

No 2016:24: Understanding attitudes towards congestion pricing: a latent variable investigation with data from four cities

Stephane Hess () and Maria Börjesson ()
Additional contact information
Stephane Hess: Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Maria Börjesson: KTH, Postal: Centrum för Transportstudier (CTS), Teknikringen 10, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Numerous cities around the world are considering the implementation of road pricing to ease urban traffic congestion, following on from the success in cities such as London and Singapore. However, policy makers are also all too aware of the generally negative public opinion towards such measures. This study makes use of data collected in four cities (two in Sweden, one in Finland and one in France) using a very consistent survey probing for citizens’ attitudes towards pricing. We find very strong similarities across the four cities in terms of a number of underlying attitudinal constructs that help explain people’s answers in a hypothetical referendum on congestion pricing. The similarities across cities indicate that the increase in the opinion towards congestion pricing once they are introduced is not primarily an effect of changes in underlying attitudes, changes in how the underlying attitudes influence the support for congestion pricing, or differences in anticipated versus experienced or perceived self-interest. Instead this effect seems to be caused by a status quo acceptance, tending to increase the support for the current situation.

Keywords: Congestion charging; Pricing acceptability; Road user attitudes

JEL-codes: R41; R42; R48

25 pages, November 28, 2016

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CTS2016-24.pdf PDF-file 

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