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Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2019 TOPIC AREA: Sustainability, energy, and health Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Using big data to estimate the environmental benefits of congestion pricing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-19-24
Funding source: Caltrans
Contract number: 65A0674, TO-032
Funding amount: $99,604
Performance period: 4/1/2020 to 3/31/2021


Project Description

The purpose of this project is to measure the magnitude of the pollution reduction co-benefit generated by pricing congestion. Specifically, we estimate two empirical models: First, a model that examines the effects of traffic congestion, measured by cars per miles, on NO and NO2 emissions of vehicles in freeways. Second, a model that relates speed with NO and NO2 emissions from vehicles on local roads. Our results suggest important relationships between traffic congestion and NO and NO2 in both freeways and local roads, and results are reported for different time periods. Such estimates can serve as an important input in order to calculate the pollution benefits of congestion pricing. Therefore, we take our estimates and illustrate the pollution benefits from removing vehicles from the freeways. For example, removing 500 cars in the morning peak in a typical freeway translates roughly into a 10% reduction of NO emissions in freeways.




Antonio Bento
Director, Global Master of Public Policy and Director, USC-Price Environmental Initiative, Price School of Public Policy
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall 214
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
[email protected]