• • • Program : Abstracts

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Session One
 
Keynote Address
Stuart Hicks, Chairman, National Road Transport Commission, Melbourne Victoria, Australia

Existing arrangements for road pricing and funding in Australia will be explained and the NRTC's role in this process set out. Benefits and costs of electronic road pricing will be considered. Benefits derive from the ability to link prices to specific locations and times of day, enabling environmental, congestion and infrastructure costs to be managed using a pricing approach. These costs are not the same in all regions of Australia, meaning the wisdom of a national approach to pricing using existing mechanisms is questionable. Further benefits derive from being able to directly assign costs of providing and maintaining roads to individual vehicles instead of averaging across the fleet. Implementation of electronic road pricing would have significant implications for road funding, provision of infrastructure and transport demand management. Linkages of electronic road pricing with other regulatory objectives, including enhanced compliance for productivity and safety benefits will also be explored.
Proceedings on CD-ROM
What is Road Pricing
Dr Mark Harvey, Deputy Executive Director Land & Environment, Bureau of Transport Economics, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Under a system of economically optimal road charges, each road user would, as far as practical, pay the costs they directly cause - primarily congestion and pavement damage. For a given traffic stream, more capacity means less congestion, and therefore less revenue. Similarly, a better pavement means less damage and revenue. At economically optimal levels of investment in capacity and pavement durability, optimal charges are likely to lead to significant under-recovery of total costs on non-urban roads, and possibly some under-recovery on urban roads. The issues then become: should total costs be recovered and if so, what is the best way to do it?
Session Two
 
Regional perspective
Colin Jensen, Executive Director, Strategic Policy, Main Roads Brisbane Queensland, Australia

Regional Road Agencies (ie at the state/provincial level) generally carry the majority of the responsibility for the provision of road transport related services and infrastructure.

The issues facing Regional Road Agencies are very similar worldwide: increasing capacity requirements and congestion in urban areas, significant backlog in maintenance and rehabilitation works, decreasing funding (in real terms) dedicated to roads over the years due to competing demands and increasing environmental concerns. Much of this pressure is generated by the mechanism by which road funding is collected.

The possible use of Road Pricing however should not only be seen as a tool to implement travel demand management through pricing or as a way to increase revenue. Road pricing, using cost effective emerging technologies, has the potential to one day provide a more equitable and efficient system of pricing and charging for road use throughout an entire network.

There are however a number of challenges in reaching this goal and these are discussed further in this presentation.
 
Road Users Perspective
John Metcalfe, Assistant Director, Australian Automobile Association, Canberra ACT, Australia

The views of the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) on road pricing, charging and taxation are presented. We argue that of the fuel excise collected (currently 44 cents/litre), the Federal Government should distinguish between what is a charge for road use and what is a tax for general revenue purposes. The conditions under which road pricing will be accepted are outlined, and the attitude of motorists to toll roads as revealed in recent survey work are reported.
Proceedings on CD-ROM
Sustainable Transport in a Sustainable environment
Piers Brogan, Business Sector Manager, PPK Environment & Infrastructure, Sydney NSW, Australia

Sustainable transport in a sustainable environment:
-
a vision for change
- tools and tactics for change and the need for supportive environments
- the broad challenges: greenhouse, health, energy and congestion
-
challenges from within the transport system
- Sustainable Transport - Responding to Challenges, Institution of Engineers, Australia: Sustainable Energy Transport Taskforce, findings and recommendations.
Session Three
 
Alternative pricing models
David Bray, Director, Economic and Policy Services, Adelaide South Australia, Australia

The starting point is, of course, that we already have a road pricing system. The debate is about whether the current system is “broke” and whether it is worth fixing it.

The paper will address the current pricing system, but only to indicate its role in assessing the relative merit of moving to some other system. The two broad pricing models that are available (ie uniform and congestion pricing), and sub-options within each of these genres, will be reviewed. Whether any of the alternatives are worth introducing will be considered in the context of an economic evaluation of the costs and benefits of them. Consideration will be given to the ease and cost of implementing alternatives, and their effect on traffic, the environment, and the community.

The paper will conclude that while pure congestion pricing can achieve the maximum economic benefit, the cost (in political as well as financial terms) may offset these benefits to the extent that simpler, albeit less effective, pricing options may be preferable.
 
The Economics of Road Pricing: Theory and Policy
Assoc Professor George Docwra, Department of Economics, University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland, Australia

The related issues of efficient road user charges, road funding and road investment and maintenance policy are subjects that are hardly new to transport policy debates in Australia and most other countries. The theory of efficient pricing of roads is well established and not controversial - at least so far as theoretical principles are concerned. But there is a wide gap between theory and practice. There are various reasons for this. This paper provides a brief outline of the theory and practice of road used charges; the arguments for and against road pricing, and considers some policy options aimed at achieving a more efficient and equitable road price and investment outcome.
 
Mechanisms for transport infrastructure financing
Dr Alan Williams, Director (Transport Economics & Strategy), Queensland Transport, Brisbane Queensland, Australia

The paper explores past and recent experiences with transport infrastructure findings. It examines common mechanisms for funding and ownership and barriers to private entry. The paper concludes with some consideration of alternative funding/ownership models and their 'survival' potential.
 
World Bank Urban Transport Strategy Review - Summary Concept Paper and Road Pricing Considerations
Edward Dotson, Senior Transport Specialist, World Bank, Washington DC, USA

Within a generation the developing world's urban population is expected to increase by 2.5 billion - equal to the present day total world urban population. Much of this increase will take place in the client countries of the World Bank. Without a clear strategy to deal with this growth, urban sprawl is likely, encouraging auto-dependency, disadvantaging public transport service supply and hence reducing accessibility to employment and urban services for the poor. The urban transport strategy review is part of an effort by the World Bank to prepare for this challenge. The main context for the review is provided by the recently published urban development strategy A Strategic View of Urban and Local Government Issues: Implications for the World Bank, and the transport sector strategy Sustainable Transport Priorities for Policy Reform published in 1996. The national level context is provided by the Comprehensive Development Framework, which sets out a holistic view of the development process in any particular country, and seeks to better co-ordinate the activity of the many agencies involved.

The Concept Paper is intended to provide a basis for initial consultation on the objectives, outputs, key issues, and instruments of the urban transport strategy review.

The objectives are
i) to develop better common understanding of the nature and magnitude of urban transport problems in developing and transitional economies; and
ii) to articulate a strategy to assist national and city governments to address urban transport problems within which the role of the World Bank and other agencies can be identified.

The outputs of the process would be
i) an extensive knowledge base, available in electronic form through a web page;
ii) a series of background papers, including region specific policy appraisals
iii) a World Bank Urban Transport Strategy.

The key issues to be addressed in the review include:
i) poverty (including the direct and indirect poverty impacts of urban transport, the needs of specific groups and the wider social context);
ii) potential transport impediments to economic growth (including land use structure, auto dependency, and urban freight movement); and
iii) quality of life (including local and global air pollution and road safety).

The Instruments, that could form part of the Urban Transport Strategy include institutional arrangements, fiscal instruments and physical interventions. The paper ends with a more specific discussion of key issues and instruments relating to road pricing.
Proceedings on CD-ROM
Why Road Pricing in Australia - Contrasts with International Experience
David Ashley, Principal, Sinclair Knight Merz Armadale Victoria, Australia

The focus of this paper is on road pricing simply for demand management purposes (as distinct from the funding of road construction). Recognising that road pricing is difficult to justify to voters, the paper contrasts the contexts of Australian cities and cities internationally where road pricing is under consideration or has been implemented (in respect of factors like population density, levels of congestion, price of transport etc). Drawing on the results of road pricing studies in New Zealand, Australia and Europe, the paper considers the distribution of the benefits and disbenefits of road pricing and how this is likely to link with voter reaction. It also considers the economic and planning efficiency (and inefficiency) of practical road pricing mechanisms, the beneficial outcomes and those less easy to predict. It will also consider alternative, and arguably easier to implement, forms of restraint, and the evidence for their effective implementation in Australian cities.
Session Four
 
The Electronic Road Pricing System - Singapore's Experience
Dr Chin Kian Keong, Senior Manager, Public Transport & Road Pricing, Land Transport Authority, Singapore

Road pricing is not new to Singapore. This started in 1975, but was based on a manual paper-based licence scheme. There were, however, limitations to the manual scheme and in Sept 1998, the Land Transport Authority of Singapore replaced it with an automated Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) System. Based on the use of a stored-value smartcard and dedicated short-range communication, the ERP system requires all users to fit an In-vehicle Unit (IU) in their vehicles. When these vehicles pass under the ERP gantries, instructions on debiting the prevailing road pricing charges from the stored-value smartcard are sent down to the IUs. Enforcement is by way of cameras installed on the same ERP gantries. Prior to the launch of the ERP system, two important programmes were initiated; the 10-month long IU fitting programme and the ERP publicity programme. In addition, there were issues on safety and privacy that had to be handled during this period.

With the more flexible ERP system, it became possible to introduce policies to shift more of the transport costs from ownership-based to usage-based, which is a more equitable approach. The ERP charges are themselves dependent on traffic conditions on the roads and are revised every 3 months. Public transport services were also improved together with the introduction of the ERP system to provide an alternative to those who do not wish to pay the ERP charges.
 
Electronic Road User Charging in the UK: What? Why? How? and When?
Eric Sampson, Research Director, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, London, United Kingdom

In July 1998 the United Kingdom Government issued its White Paper 'a New Deal for Transport - better for everyone', the first comprehensive transport policy for nearly thirty years. It sets out policies to integrate not just between the different transport modes but also transport with Education, Health, the Environment, Business and Industry. A key policy was the deployment of road user charging to attack congestion and pollution, which is being taken forward in the Transport Bill announced in the Queen's Speech in November. The presentation will examine UK Governments' policies and actions, review the work now underway to introduce the concept of road user charging and describe the project to demonstrate a complete electronic systems environment.
 
The Hong Kong ERP Trial
John Opiola, Wilbur Smith Associates, Project Manager of ERP Feasibility Study, Hong Kong, for Wilbur Smith and Hyder, 1997 to 2000, Hong Kong

Electronic Fee Collection (EFC) is a key ITS application, whose technical development over the last decade has been largely focused on Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC). The combination of satellite positioning, on-board processing and radio communications offers an alternative technology option for EFC, now referred to as “Vehicle Positioning Systems” (VPS).

Recent trials in Hong Kong indicated that the VPS approach is fast becoming a viable alternative to DSRC, particularly where there are concerns over the environmental intrusion of roadside DSRC infrastructure and where integration with other ITS applications is an important feature.

This paper describes VPS technology, discusses the development of VPS-based EFC systems in Germany, European research projects, Switzerland, the UK and, in particular, in the Hong Kong Electronic Road Pricing Feasibility Study.

It describes the INITIATIVE project which is demonstrating aspects of interoperability between DSRC and VPS-based EFC. It summarises the development of standards for VPS EFC within ISO and CEN. It compares the advantages and disadvantages of DSRC and VPS approaches. The presentation will present the publicly available results from the field evaluation in Hong Kong.
 
Experience in Denmark and present initiatives
Jan Kildebogaard, Research Manager, Centre for Traffic and Transport Research, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark

The presentation will outline the Danish transport policy and describe the role and status of road user charging. The research programme FORTRIN which is a distance-dependant road pricing scheme will be introduced emphasizing the concept and the functional requirements of the scheme. The aim and major activities of the programme are briefly described. Various charging scenarios will be discussed with reference to the potential for redistributing existing car taxes. Preliminary results of the research programme will be presented together with a list of outstanding technical and political issues. Finally, the international perspectives will be discussed.
Proceedings on CD-ROM
ERP's Relevance for Cities in the Asia - Pacific Region
Philip Sayeg, Director, Policy Appraisal Services Pty Ltd, Brisbane Queensland, Australia

Electronic road pricing (ERP) is receiving a lot of attention at a policy level in Australia and internationally. But to date, world-wide, only Singapore has implemented a full ERP system based on its former, manually-based Area Licensing Scheme (ALS) which was introduced in 1975. Many of the ingredients that are needed to facilitate the introduction of ERP and more generally, road pricing, are present already. These include a desire by governments to increase revenue and a desire by planners and the community to reduce traffic congestion and improve the environment. Advances in technology make ERP feasible, affordable and not necessarily invasive of privacy. However, there appear to be numerous obstacles remaining. A major one is a socio-political one: will the public accept what many perceive as another tax?

The objective of this paper is to examine the likelihood and key factors affecting the implementation of ERP in developed and developing cities.

The paper reviews: the importance of improved road pricing; its use together with other means for managing the road transport system, options for the use of technology to support the operation of electronic road pricing; and some case studies where ERP has been attempted or is being considered. The case study cities include: Singapore; Hong Kong; Jakarta; and Melbourne. Consideration is given to factors that appear to have constrained the introduction of electronic road pricing, and to measures that could enhance its prospects in the future.

There are important opportunities being created which could smooth the path to implementation in some cities:
- ERP technology can be used to bypass institutional constraints and technical limitations of conventional traffic management improvements. This factor appears to be quite important in developing cities where improved traffic management is more critical than in developed cities yet there are many institutional barriers; and
- In developed or developing cities, the expected increasing emergence of toll roads using non-stop tolling/ERP technologies as is being implemented in Melbourne will make the transition to a full ERP system relatively straightforward in technical terms.

It is concluded that the extent of congestion problems in major, developed and developing cities demands that ERP be put on the agenda for the next decade - ERP offers a more rational basis for transport policy making. On balance given the opportunities and despite the obstacles, ERP is thought likely to be implemented in at least some developing and developed cities in the next few years provided that a clearer framework and justification for ERP can be developed.
Session Five
 
The impact of ERP at the local level
Peter Rufford, Program Manager. Australian Local Government Association, Canberra ACT, Australia

Electronic road pricing will have a different impact at the local level in the cities compared to rural areas. The form of the pricing instruments particularly in the cities will also influence the impact on local Councils.

Pricing in urban areas has long been seen as an instrument for encouraging more efficient transport in a city. However, revenue from increased road charges should not be limited to underpinning changes in modal share. Local government would be keen to see some of the revenue used to improve the amenity of local roads.

The issues are different in rural areas. Electronic technology provides the mechanism for tracking vehicles and allocating road user charges. Existing funding arrangements do not provide for any heavy vehicle charges to be allocated to local Councils. The application of electronic pricing in rural areas offers the potential for a new era in the road user charging of heavy vehicles and for the funding of rural local roads.
 
Potential Role for ERP in Developed and Developing Countries
David Overington, Senior Public Transport Consultant, PPK Environment and Infrastructure, Brisbane Queensland, Australia

Emerging technologies now make Electronic Road Pricing a real possibility. This technological capability, coupled with the view that road consumption is underpriced, is leading to greater attention being paid to the potential implementation.

In some quarters, Electronic Road Pricing is considered likely to have positive impacts for the public transport sector, reducing the price imbalance between private and public transport and leading to, amongst other things, increased public transport ridership, revenues and reduced deficits. In addition, the revenue raised from Electronic Road Pricing, if applied to public transport, has the potential to fund service level improvements.

This paper looks at the level of Electronic Road Pricing necessary to have a significant impact on public transport ridership levels, using South East Queensland as a case study, and the types of service improvements which could be introduced if those funds were invested into the public transport system. In addition, it touches on some of the new challenges facing public transport operating in an Electronic Road Pricing environment.
Proceedings on CD-ROM
Public attitudes to road pricing and funding and the provision of transport services in Auckland, New Zealand
Roger Matthews, Manager Public Transport Development, Auckland City Council, New Zealand

Over the last five years, New Zealand has been examining the way in which it prices, funds and manages its transport systems. This work has focused mainly on the roading network, its externalities, and the pricing tools that could be used to manage them. At the Government level this work has centred on economic analysis and technical solutions such as ERP. Where the public has become aware of Government's proposals, however, there has been general opposition and a strong unwillingness to pay. A desktop literature search found many examples of ERP proposals from around the world, but few examples of research into the public's attitude towards road pricing. Therefore Auckland City commissioned research to determine: the public's understanding of the issues, their preferences towards what transport services should be provided, how the services should be paid for, and how they should be managed. The first study was a series of focus group interviews that sought to obtain qualitative data on public attitudes towards transport. The second, conducted in December 1999 was a phone-based survey intended to elicit quantitative data. The data obtained, demonstrated that public acceptability was indeed a key gap in the process of developing and introducing ERP, and the analysis gives clues as to how this gap could be closed. This paper presents the results of this work. Carl Davidson and No Doubt Research collected the data for this paper.
Session Six
 
Managing Software Risks for ERP and Transport Projects
Gregory Smith, Transit & Transport Solutions, Motherwell Information Systems, Perth, Western Australia

ERP and similar transport applications are driven by complex software systems that combine real time data collection, control and e-commerce style transaction handling. Given this complexity, it is easy to understand why software accounts for a major portion of the cost and risk for ERP projects. Modern iterative and object orientated software development and management methodologies serve to identify and manage these risks. This paper describes a software management methodology aimed at delivering critical functions on-time. In particular this paper provides a perspective for senior managers on modern software processes and their benefits.
 
Electronic Road Pricing Systems - the Quest for Interopability standards
Des Dent, Engineering Manager, Transcore Australia, Brisbane Queensland, Australia

This paper addresses ths issues surrounding the quest for interoperable standards for systems used for Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), Automated Vehicle Identification (AVI), Electronic Fee Collection (EFC), Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) and overviews the progress towards standards in Europe, the USA and discusses the potential fallout for Australia. The European CEN278 standard has been nominated as the current Australian Standard for electronic tolling, and the paper explores the definitions of compatibility and interoperability between the products of different manufacturers and the problems posed. It describes how 'in-vehicle' transponders can be used for many purposes besides tolling, including electronic road pricing, travel time measurements, the purchase of fuel and even for drive-in food. Issues assocites with compatibility, use, enforcement and privacy are examined, as well as potential linkages to Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).
 
Technology supplier perspective
Dr Owen Mace, Aspect Computing, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Aspect Computing has written the Performance Specification for the Intelligent Access System that is to be piloted early in 2001. In doing so, we have explored many architectures for Intelligent Transport Systems which are presented here, ending with an open architecture that fosters competition for applications and services. Such an open architecture will promote a healthy industry providing information services for vehicles and the road transport system. The presentation concludes with some comments about data integrity in such systems.
Proceedings on CD-ROM
Approach to managing technological, economic, legal and social constraints of ERP
Michel Croc, Urban Solutions, Egis Group, France

The Marseilles municipal authority opened the Prado Carénage toll tunnel to traffic in 1993. With the coastal position of the city, the tunnel serves both as a ring-road segment and an access route to the centre of Marseilles. The tunnel is very popular with users as it provides a genuine service. The principle and amount of the toll collected are not disputed, and the institutional and financial package has been and continues to be regarded as legitimate.

However, it is a major leap from the user service provided by a single toll facility to overall control of transport as an integral part of urban policy. If we are to enhance the organisation of transport with urban planning objectives in mind, we must address all aspects of the problem in global terms. These aspects include traffic control, parking, public transport and soft transport modes. In the move towards unified action in the urban planning and transport domains, such as demands major institutional changes, the first step involves the pooling of funding for transport-related projects. This means integrated management of the material and human resources employed in the prosecution of urban policy objectives. Social acceptability must be founded on legitimate pricing of the services provided, transparent utilisation of resources and equitable financial aid for individual situations.
Session Seven
 
Packaging Road Pricing for Public Acceptance
John Opiola, Wilbur Smith Associates, Project Manager of ERP Feasibility Study, Hong Kong, for Wilbur Smith and Hyder, 1997 to 2000, Hong Kong

This presentation concerns the “packaging” of Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) for public acceptance. Transport professionals and economists have been fascinated with the concept of road pricing since the Smeed Report in the early sixties. Hong Kong initially tried to implement an ERP pilot scheme in the mid-eighties. It failed for several reasons. London and other major worldwide urban centres have studied and shelved ERP. Not until 1998 when Singapore introduced the first ERP system for its Central Business District did the implementation of thirty years of conjecture, studies and pilots become a reality.

As a transport professionals, we have to ask ourselves “Why”? Many transport professionals will point to the technology. Some argue that only since the birth of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) in the late eighties did a proper means exist for designing a practical ERP system. Others will point to the political arena where a lack of a strong leader, or “champion” did not carry the ERP flag. Still others will point to the will of both the political leaders and the public in accepting ERP. This paper attempts to address ERP in a different light. It attempts to address the marketing approach and basic concepts of public acceptance. Using the ongoing Hong Kong ERP Feasibility Study as a backdrop, the presenter attempts to provide several approaches to packaging ERP to make it more publicly acceptable.
 
Public-private partnerships for ERP Development
Professor Phil Charles, Director Centre for Transport Strategy, University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland, Australia

Implementing intelligent transport systems technology involves a balance of public and private sector roles and responsibilities. The specific details of how the public and private sectors will work together is likely to be very different in each case. What is important is being able to understand what are the considerations and success factors in implementing ERP. This will involve an understanding of the different objectives of all parties involved and being able to identify feasible opportunities, for example public interest on one hand and return on investment on the other. Other factors include consideration of the risk profile and how it is to be managed, what capabilities are required by each of the parties, what are the legal, regulatory and institutional issues, and being prepared for the project management and coordination challenges. An outline of an approach to collaboration will be outlined.
 
Meeting Industry Needs - The Intelligent Vehicles Trial
Elizabeth Anderson, Manager, Land Transport Demand, Department of Infrastructure, Energy & Resources, Hobart Tasmania, Australia

Increasing transport efficiency is critical for any modern or emerging economy. To date road authorities have provided infrastructure on the basis of universal network access for all vehicles. Recent experience with the introduction of the Mass Limits Review (MLR) clearly indicates that, on a network wide basis, the opportunity for general mass limit increases, and the efficiency benefits these bring, are becoming limited within the current pricing and funding regime for roads. However, there are specific network links that have a capability to sustain higher efficiency vehicle configurations. Two factors currently inhibit taking advantage of this capacity in the network - route compliance and recouping the costs of additional wear and tear or infrastructure improvements. The Intelligent Access Project addresses the first of these two issues and extensions to the project being investigated within Tasmania addresses the second. During 2000/01 Tasmania intends to pilot direct road user charging - for the marginal costs associated with above MLR masses - on identified network segments. Through this pilot we will be able to deliver the transport efficiency benefits being demanded by the key industries within the State.
 
ERP and the involvement of the private sector in infrastructure financing
Cameron Robertson, Project Finance, Deutsche Bank AG, Sydney NSW, Australia

Infrastructure financing has been recently embraced by the private sector as governments have sought alternatives to absorbing the project risks and costs themselves. The transport industry and particularly the road sector has utilised private sector involvement in the ownership, financing and operation of recent significant projects both in Australia and internationally. The evolution of Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) models outside Australia present a range of experience and highlight a breadth of opportunity to enhance the private sector financing of road developments in Australia. Through efficient structures and delivery mechanisms, the utilisation of ERP should further improve the efficient allocation of risk between the private and public sectors and assist in maximising the development of transport infrastructure.
Proceedings on CD-ROM
Integrated Communications and Road Pricing
Professor Marcus Wigan, Professor Transport Systems, Napier University, Edinburgh UK and Principal Oxford Systematics, Heidelberg Victoria, Australia

Road pricing has a long history but few successful installations until comparatively recently. As simple cordons have been replaced by a combination of automatic identification systems and enhanced communication systems installations have become both more flexible and successful. This extension from an entry charge to a wide are systems with integrated data processing and identification is simply a first step in creating broader transport and related services. Transport management and planning can be improved using ERP data. The expanding role of private tollways and transit systems offers further opportunities to gain returns from the physical and electronic infrastructure required for road pricing. Surveillance and identification have proved to be sensitive, and as extensive customer relationship systems expand, the data generated has an increasing commercial value. These broader policy issues will also have to be addressed effectively to ensure that the substantial efficiencies available from expanding road pricing systems can be realised
 


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