This study summarizes the evidence for effectiveness and best practices in road or mobility pricing policies, with a focus on Metro Vancouver and Montreal. It summarizes the available literature on mobility pricing. Social and sustainability benefits are considered, but deep greenhouse gas mitigation goals that align with Paris Agreement 2030 and 2050 targets are prioritized. The review focuses on cordon areas, fuel taxes and per kilometre fees and the potential for zero-emissions vehicle zones. Evidence for pricing effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, equity, political acceptability and implementation strategy are discussed. The study provides key considerations for developing road pricing policies for Metro Vancouver and Montreal.
From the available evidence, we identify the following insights on road pricing, categorized within several criteria of policy analysis:
- Effectiveness: Clear evidence shows stringent road pricing can make an effective contribution to GHG mitigation in the short and long run as a complement to an existing GHG reduction policy mix.
- Cost-effectiveness: Most studies suggest road pricing will lead to a net social benefit, the primary one being reduced traffic congestion.
- Equity: Any pricing program will affect users differently, which can have important equity impacts. Careful program design can greatly improve equity (including affordability of transportation alternatives) and perceived fairness.
- Political acceptability: Opposition among citizens and stakeholders is typically the most important barrier to pricing implementation. Careful design and implementation can improve acceptability.
- Implementation process: Successful implementation of road pricing hinges on the process. Support can be built through an “interaction-oriented” political process that includes meaningful public and stakeholder consultation and information sharing over time.