The public acceptability of road pricing-a US case study

Lee W Munnich, Frank Douma, Joe Loveland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


For communities struggling to implement congestion pricing, the Minnesota, London and Stockholm case studies provide hope, and a number of lessons to potentially inform their outreach and education efforts. Perhaps, the most powerful of all these lessons is that citizens are much more likely to embrace pricing after they have a chance to actually observe it, whether it be by touring a facility in another area, viewing a well-crafted video or other type of visual, or seeing a pilot project that is implemented in their community. For transportation and political leaders, this lesson has important implications. For instance, it suggests that if they take a political risk and implement an effective and efficient HOT lane project on a demonstration basis, they can have confidence that public skepticism likely will dissipate after residents can see and experience a well-implemented HOT lane in operation.. Chapter Contents: • 5.1 Public acceptance and road pricing • 5.1.1 Singapore • 5.1.2 London and Stockholm lead the way • 5.1.3 Setbacks with Manchester and Edinburgh referenda • 5.1.4 The US experience with HOT/managed lanes • 5.2 The Minnesota experience • 5.3 The challenges • 5.4 The turning point • 5.5 The results • 5.6 Lessons learned • 5.6.1 Seeing is believing • 5.6.2 Task force is an in-depth education tool • 5.6.3 Public outreach improves project design • 5.6.4 Grasstops support is first priority • 5.6.5 Top-level champions are keys • 5.6.6 Coalition requires constant maintenance • 5.6.7 Preparation must precede promotion • 5.6.8 Preliminary technical details must be available • 5.6.9 No question should go unanswered • 5.6.10 Flexibility and opportunism is important • 5.6.11 Customized messaging needed • 5.6.12 Accentuating the positive pays off • 5.6.13 Choice sells • 5.6.14 Nongovernmental facilitator can be useful • 5.6.15 Show, don’t just tell • 5.7 Conclusion • References.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoad Pricing
Subtitle of host publicationTechnologies, economics and acceptability
PublisherInstitution of Engineering and Technology
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781785612053
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2018.


  • London
  • Minnesota
  • Public acceptability
  • Road pricing
  • Road pricing (tolls)
  • Road traffic
  • Stockholm
  • Systems theory applications in economics and business
  • Systems theory applications in transportation
  • United states
  • US case study


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