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Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2021 TOPIC AREA: Public transit, land use, and urban mobility Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Tolling lessons learned for road usage charge

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-21-40
Funding source: Caltrans
Contract number: 65A0674
Funding amount: $88,978
Performance period: 1/1/2022 to 12/31/2022

Project Final Report:

Project Research Brief:

Project description

Even though plug-in electric vehicles can reduce the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, externalities like congestion and road damage will exist. Therefore, state transportation agencies will need pricing mechanisms like a per-mile road user charge (RUC) to deal with these externalities while accounting for the transition to an EV-dominated fleet. In this project, focusing on electronic toll collection (ETC) methods, we aim to conduct a thorough review of lessons learned from established tolling systems across US states and the tolling system in Singapore and London. Post literature review, a multi-criteria performance framework of different tolling mechanisms will be formulated based on criteria such as accuracy of data collection, complexity for regulators and users, compatibility across policy objectives (primarily RUC), and equity. Finally, we aim to identify the best practices in the existing tolling systems for offsetting some of the costs for low-income drivers and demonstrate their effectiveness using travel behavior data from the National Household Travel Survey. A good understanding of the pros and cons of the existing tolling systems will help state transportation agencies investigate the trade-offs of the different tolling systems while designing an RUC.


Debapriya Chakraborty
Post-Doctoral Researcher
1605 Tilia Street
Davis, CA 95616
United States
[email protected]