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Task Force

TransPrice - Final Summary Report

Trans Modal Integrated Urban Transport
Pricing for Optimum Modal Split

Project Coordinator:


Trinity College Dublin (IE)
Consorzio Universitario MIP (IT) Comune di Como (IT)
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (ES) Consorcio de Transportes de Madrid (ES)
Anysma (GR) Athens Area Urban Transport Organisation OASA (GR)
Leeds City Council (GB) University of Leeds ITS (GB)
Technical University of Graz (AT)
Magistrat Graz (AT)
Chalmers University of Technology (SE) Technical University of Dresden (DE)
University of York (GB) City of York Council (GB)
Viatek (FI) Helsinki University of Technology (FI)

Project Duration:

1 January 1996 to 31 January 1999


20 January 2000


1. Introduction
2. Definitions and Methodology
3. Modelling Results
4. Demonstration Results
5. Public and Political Acceptability
6. Evaluation Results
7. Conclusions and Recommendations
8. Collaboration Sought
9. Exploitation and Dissemination Plans
10. Names and Addresses of the Co-ordinator and All Partners Involved

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

Researchers in nine European Union (EU) member states and authorities in eight European cities together with the European Commission Directorate-General for Transport initiated and co-funded the TransPrice project within the EU Transport RTD programme. TransPrice aims to address the issues of integrated trans modal transport pricing, towards achieving optimum modal split in urban areas, at pan-European level. The TransPrice project was launched in January 1996 with a three-year work programme. The project start coincided with the publication by the European Commission of the Green Paper "Towards Fair and Efficient Pricing in Transport: Policy Options for Internalising the External Costs of Transport in the European Union" (December 1995). Towards the end of the project period, the European Commission published a White Paper on "Fair Payment for Infrastructure Use: A phased approach to a common transport infrastructure charging framework in the EU" (July 1998).

The TransPrice project philosophy is to investigate a trans modal, integrated pricing and financing regime for urban transport that is based on three fundamental principles, viz: ·

  • Having clear policy objectives of optimising Modal Split: Optimum is defined as the Modal Split at which the total generalised costs of both Public and Private Transport are minimised
  • Aiming towards internalising the environmental and other external costs of transport systems
  • Allowing for revenue allocation from road user charges to financing investment in public transport, non-motorised modes, road safety and environmental improvements.
  • 1.2 Project Objectives and Approach

    The objectives of the TransPrice project are as follows:

  • Review and investigate technical and financial options for integrated trans modal pricing.
  • Examine integrated trans modal pricing strategies, tariffs and generalised cost structures by mode of transport and their effects on modal split.
  • Assess potential user response and operational, socio-economic, behavioural, financial, land use, environmental and energy impacts of demand management and mode choice-related trans modal pricing measures, including urban road use pricing.
  • Specify and demonstrate trans modal pricing and integrated payment systems in selected European cities and assess effects on modal split, public and political acceptability.
  • Evaluate trans modal pricing and integrated payment scenarios and actions using a common and comprehensive framework.
  • Investigate ways of exploiting traffic data likely to be generated from integrated payment systems and disseminate the overall project results, including cities in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • TransPrice is based on actions and analyses in eight European cities: Athens, Madrid, Como, Leeds, York, Goteborg, Helsinki and Graz , thus covering a wide range of urban areas, in terms of both geography and typology. Demonstration of pricing measures by real life application and experimental initial limited field trials of systems and measures is included in Athens, Como, Madrid, Leeds and York. Dissemination of the project findings to European Union member states as well as to two Central and Eastern European sites in Budapest and Sofia is also included.

    The integrated trans modal pricing measures examined in TransPrice comprise:

  • Road Use Charging (Cordon Pricing, Area Licensing, Expressway Tolls)
  • Integrated Public Transport Fares and Payment Systems
  • Parking Charges (On-Street, Off-Street, Private Non-Residential)
  • Intermodality (Park & Ride, Bus/Rail/Metro/Tram)
  • Public Transport System Financing and Revenue Support
  • Smart Card Payment Systems (Travel and Multi-Purpose Use)
  • Combination with Other Measures (Access Control, Urban Traffic Control, HOV Lanes, Regulatory Traffic Restrictions, Public Transport Prioritisation, Pedestrianisation/Cycling Facilities).
  • Various combinations of the above are considered in each project site. The actions and analyses in the eight project sites are illustrated in Figure 1.

    Figure 1: Specific Actions and Analyses in TransPrice Sites

    2. Definitions and Methodology

    2.1 Trans Modal

    The total urban transport system, involving all modes of transport, should be considered in a "Trans Modal" approach to pricing and financing. A Trans Modal approach requires that urban transport pricing measures and payment systems should be both multimodal and intermodal , viz:

  • Multimodal , as they affect the characteristics of a number of competing modes (eg Car Vs Public Transport Vs Park & Ride), thus influencing user choice of travel mode
  • Intermodal, as they may influence the use of a number of modes for different legs of a single journey (eg Feeder Bus and Metro, or Park & Ride) with appropriate interchange, thus facilitating "seamless" service and enhancing intermodality.
  • In the TransPrice project, therefore, trans modal pricing is defined as combination and integration of multimodality (choice of mode) and intermodality (seamless service).

    2.2 Integrated Transport Pricing

    The objectives of "integrated transport pricing" are to:

      Enable environmental improvements, alleviate congestion and facilitate cost recovery through optimising modal split and improving intermodality by means of internalising the external costs of transport.

    The possible means or "elements" (ie building blocks) of a integrated transport pricing approach are:

  • Road Use Charges (including Tolls)
  • Public Transport Financial Structures (including Fare Structures, Ticketing Methods and Revenue Support Options),
  • Parking Charges, and
  • A System of Revenue Allocation between Transport Modes (eg from road use charges to funding public transport investments and environmental improvements) SmartCard-based Automatic Debiting and Multi-purpose Payment Systems can provide an important support to all of the above.
  • Regarding the latter (Integrated Payment Systems), their role in the integrated transport pricing approach is due to their advantages, viz:

  • Marketing-related: Convenience for Users, Information on Usage, Differential Pricing, Discounts and Incentives
  • Policy-related: Differential Pricing, Facilitating User Trading between Modes of Transport, Discounts and Incentives
  • Accountability-related: Improved Accounting for Operators, Reduced Fraud.


  • 2.3 Pricing Measures and Actions

    The specified measures in each test-site are as follows ( demonstrations are shown in bold ):

  • Athens: road use pricing with Park & Ride and integrated payment (main), and (re)introduction of monthly pass for all public transport modes (secondary), road use pricing options (modelling tests)
  • Como: access control for residents and time-based parking pricing for visitors in a tourist area, parking pricing policy, road use pricing options (modelling tests)
  • Madrid: Park & Ride with integrated ticketing, tariff integration by monthly pass for all public transport modes (10 years ex-post assessment), congestion costs and public transport subsidies, and HOV lane pricing option (modelling test)
  • Leeds: multi-service smartcard pilot application for parking and public transport , attitudinal research into potential for modal change through changes to parking, Park & Ride and public transport prices, potential for cordon parking charges and charging for private spaces (modelling test)
  • York: changes to central car park and Park & Ride tariffs, introduction of multi- use smartcards, and generalised cost changes through bus priorities (supporting measure), road use pricing options (modelling tests)
  • Goteborg: cordon pricing with alternative fee structures, area pricing, examination of decision-making process
  • Helsinki: cordon pricing with alternative rings
  • Graz: cordon pricing with public transport bonus and shopping traffic bonus.
  • The cities involved have been classified into three groups:

  • Large/Capital cities (Athens, Madrid, Helsinki)
  • Medium cities (Leeds, Goteborg, Graz) and
  • Small cities (Como, York).
  • The measures have been grouped into three categories:

  • main pricing
  • regulation (access control, intermodality) and
  • complementary (smartcard integrated payment systems).
  • All of the important interactions of city type and measures category are covered in the specification, so that the project results can have a potential pan-European transferability.

    2.4 Travel Behaviour Research

    The potential changes in travel behaviour from pricing measures was assessed by means of a Stated Preference (SP) Survey in all eight sites with a Common Experimental Design involving combinations of the following attributes and alternative levels within each attribute:

  • Mode Choice: Car Vs Public Transport Vs Park & Ride
  • Car Costs: +50 and +100% from present operating and parking costs
  • Car and Public Transport Times: -20% and +20% form present times
  • Public Transport Costs: -20% and +20% from present costs.
  • In total, 2155 valid responses were obtained. The SP survey was targeted to current car users, mainly for commuting trip purpose, that would consider changing mode to public transport or Park & Ride through increases of car costs and/or time and cost improvements to the alternative modes of travel. This was the first time that such a survey was applied to several urban areas with a common experimental design. The analysis of the SP survey gave estimates of Value of Time (VoT) and mode-specific constants. The survey also included acceptability questions on the justification of road use pricing, the preferred allocation of revenues and the preferred method of payment. The results of the SP survey were used in modelling tests (see Section 3) and the additional questions were used in the public acceptability research (see Section 5).

    2.5 Evaluation Methodology

    The evaluation of the measures examined in the TransPrice project was based on a multi-criteria evaluation framework, involving the following evaluation criteria:

  • Operational: Functional Analysis of Impacts
  • Socio-Economic: Costs, Time Savings and Accident Savings
  • Financial: Revenue Generation/Allocation, Profitability and Cost Recovery
  • Land Use and Accessibility Impacts
  • Environmental Impacts
  • Energy Efficiency and Saving
  • Social Equity and Public Acceptability.
  • A common evaluation framework was developed for all eight participating cities, in order to bring together the results from travel behaviour research and modelling tests with the results from the demonstrations, towards developing general guidelines at pan-European level.

    3. Modelling Results

    Cross-site comparisons of the modelling results have been made towards identifying guidelines at pan-European level for the implementation of transport pricing measures. In terms of cordon pricing (based on analysis for Athens, Como, Helsinki, Goteborg and Graz), these show that reductions of 5-20% in total distance travelled by private car are possible for cordon toll levels of between 1 and 3 EUR (after allowing for Purchase Power Parity differentials between EU member states). In terms of the number of private cars entering inner urban areas, reductions of between 5% (Helsinki) and 40-50% (Como, Athens) can be expected, depending on toll levels (around the 1-3 EUR range) and city characteristics. It is evident that the higher the present level of congestion, the more the scope for road use pricing. Regarding parking pricing measures, reductions in distance travelled by private car of 8-48% (and 8-49% reduction in the number of cars entering the controlled zones) can be expected for parking charges of 5-10 EUR (based on analysis for Leeds and Como).

    4. Demonstration Results

    The results from the demonstrations can be summarised as follows:

  • In Athens the results of the road use pricing trial indicated that 25% of car users transferred to Park & Ride, 5.5% to Public Transport and 0.5% to other modes, for charge levels of 1.5-2.2 EUR. These results suggest that, on a network-wide basis, up to 15% of car drivers could transfer to Park & Ride with a 5:1 pricing regime in favour of Park & Ride. The price elasticity for road use pricing was estimated at -0.2 from the limited sample of users that took part in the road use pricing demonstration. Attitudinal research suggested that a vignette-based system of area pricing would be more acceptable to the public and politicians than electronic cordon charging. Demand for the all Public Transport modes travel card has stabilised at about 10% of all public transport ticket sales.
  • In Como the demonstration results suggest that the introduction of parking charges reduced the traffic entering the designated area and corresponding improvements on congestion levels. There has been a positive change in modal split from cars to motor bikes and bicycles. ·
  • In Madrid the multimodal travel card for Public Transport has encouraged greater use of public transport amongst captive groups and encouraged some modal shift, particularly amongst commuters (PT trips increased by 35% following a decade of decline).
  • Investigations into the effects of the Park & Ride and integrated ticketing showed that around 300 extra cars used the Park & Ride and that 2.7% of the total Park & Ride users had changed mode form car to Park & Ride.

  • In Leeds the introduction of the multi use smart card was not seen as a prime reason for modal shift, but it was seen as an important element when considered in conjunction with tariff increases for parking and improved public transport services.
  • In York the differential changes in tariffs for city centre parking and Park & Ride have resulted in increased Park & Ride patronage. City Centre Parking tariffs increased by 20% while Park & Ride by 9%; this resulted in a 6% reduction in city centre parking demand and a 12% increase in Park & Ride demand. The introduction of a smart card with discounts for regular travellers resulted in about 5% of the car trips involved in the demonstration transferring to Park & Ride from city centre car parks.
  • 5. Public and Political Acceptability

    Public acceptability research was based on attitudinal questions as part of the Stated Preference survey in all eight cities and further behavioural research in a number of cities. Political acceptability was examined in relation to the demonstrations and in general based on current policy initiatives and developments.

    The results of the public and political acceptability research showed that:

  • Public perception of road traffic congestion and associated environmental problems is high.

  • Public awareness of pricing measures is lower than that of other demand management measures, which is also generally low.

  • Public acceptability of isolated pricing measures is low.

  • Public acceptability of pricing measures can increase substantially when pricing is presented as the cornerstone of a package of measures including revenue allocation to public transport investments and non-motorised modes

  • Political acceptability of pricing measures is affected by perceived lack of public acceptability.

  • Hypothecation of road use pricing revenues is becoming more politically acceptable and can lead to higher overall acceptability of pricing measures.

    6. Evaluation Results

    The main general conclusions from the functional evaluation results can be summarised as follows:

  • Road use pricing is an effective way of changing modal split from private car to public transport and Park & Ride. The Athens road use pricing demonstration indicated diversion rates of 15-25% from car to Park & Ride and 5% to public transport. Modelling tests for five cities produced city centre traffic reduction of 5-20%, with associated environmental benefits. In the case of Athens where both demonstration and modelling was carried out, a reasonably close result between the two sources was found.

  • The effectiveness of the type of road use pricing depends on the city characteristics: distance-based road use pricing was found more effective than time-based for Athens but for York and Como the finding was the other way round.

  • Significant revenues can result from road use pricing.

  • Parking pricing provides an effective way for restraining car trips (assuming that enforcement can be maximised; however, enforcement of road use pricing options is usually expected to be higher than past experience with enforcement of parking control, which is affected by free workplace parking facilities and significant violation rates).

  • High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane pricing options, ie High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes, have marginal impacts on modal split in a European setting (based on the analysis for Madrid). · Modal split impacts from introducing integrated ticketing are small, but could be significant over time.

  • Smartcard integrated payment systems can support trans modal pricing measures and can have small but significant modal split impacts on their own (especially for Park & Ride).

  • Park & Ride facilities and Intermodality improvements can have a positive impact on the performance of pricing measures.

  • The above conclusions are based on both real life or experimental demonstrations and modelling activities in the TransPrice cities. Demonstrations provided actual, observed results of trans modal pricing impacts in user behaviour due to different pricing schemes, fee structures and payment methods. Modelling activities have provided the possibility of studying more scenarios, different pricing strategies, methods of charging, fee structures, etc.

    The main results from the Multi-Criteria Evaluation show that in absolute terms:

  • HOV lane pricing is effective for some indicators, but acceptable social utility is only achieved when congestion level is very high. · Parking pricing is always effective but it must not be an isolated measure; it is rather an accompanying measure.

  • Cordon pricing is clearly effective when it is applied to congested central areas and over peak-periods. To enlarge the cordon pricing scheme to a broader area or to a whole day does not provide much supplementary social benefits.

  • Other forms of Road use pricing (eg distance-based, time-based, area-based) are very beneficial for most of the multicriteria indicators.

    In a comparative way, the results from the Multi-Criteria evaluation show that:

  • The highest level of the value function is achieved through cordon pricing (high end of the range).
  • In terms of type of road use pricing, on average time-based road use pricing gives the highest level of the value function, followed by delay-based and cordon pricing.
  • Parking pricing on average is found to have similar performance to cordon pricing and area pricing.
  • Parking pricing is less effective than road use pricing by 17 percentage points when the maximum end of the range is considered; however, for the minimum end of the range the results show that parking pricing could achieve about the same level of effectiveness as cordon pricing and in some cases surpass the performance of other road use pricing options.
  • HOV lane pricing options give the lowest range and therefore they are applicable in special cases only.

    The main conclusion from these comparative analysis findings is that road use pricing options should be implemented when parking pricing measures alone have been proven to have exhausted their effectiveness. The selection of the method of road use pricing is dependent on city characteristics.

    7. Conclusions and Recommendations

    The following recommendations can be made on the basis of the evaluation results and the experiences with urban transport pricing measures examined in the TransPrice project:

  • Transport pricing measures offer several possibilities of changing modal split in urban areas in favour of public transport, Park & Ride, and non-motorised modes; they can also provide significant revenues for financing appropriate transport systems and environmental improvements.

  • Road use pricing should be considered when parking pricing measures alone have been found to have exhausted their effectiveness.

  • Road use pricing should be considered as a part of a package of demand management measures, in order to increase its effectiveness and acceptability.

  • Integrated payment systems should be implemented to support the implementation of transport pricing measures; they can have small but significant impacts on their own.

  • Intermodality improvements, such as Park & Ride and integrated ticketing should be implemented together with transport pricing measures in order to enhance the impact of pricing measures.

  • Use of the road use pricing revenues affects the acceptability of pricing measures; hypothecation of revenues for investments within the transport and environmental improvements sectors of a specific urban area substantially increases the potential public acceptability.

    In conclusion, an effective trans modal integrated urban transport pricing strategy should combine packages of pricing measures, payment systems, intermodality and public transport improvements, in a comprehensive transport planning and management framework towards sustainable mobility.

    8. Collaboration Sought

    The TransPrice Consortium will be pleased to collaborate with other city authorities, transport operators and researchers, interested in extending and applying the trans modal integrated transport pricing and financing concept initiated in the TransPrice project. The consortium would also welcome the collaboration of technology developers, regarding the implementation of automatic debiting and integrated payment systems, as well as financial institutions and private sector investors, regarding the development of financial packages for new transport systems based on future revenues from user charges, through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and other means.

    9. Exploitation and Dissemination Plans

    TransPrice has produced results regarding mode choice analysis, simulation modelling, travel behaviour, public and political acceptability and evaluation of alternative pricing measures, based on actions in eight cities. Several actions are planned for the exploitation and dissemination of the project results, viz:

  • identification of possible on-going or planned research areas where TransPrice data and results could be useful
  • proposing new national (regional, metropolitan or city oriented) studies based on TransPrice results and experience
  • applicability/transferability of TransPrice results to other site-specific research
  • identification of complementary data that would enhance the initial value of TransPrice results
  • editing a handbook on the methodology, data, results, conclusions and recommendations, best practice guidelines, both at national and European levels, in several EU languages, for sale
  • organising a conference on integrated pricing and financing options, based on the TransPrice results (with a participation fee), under the theme of: "Paying the Price for Sustainable Mobility"
  • organising an intensive short course on integrated trans modal urban transport pricing principles and practice, including methodology, issues (legal, technological, institutional) and potential of pricing options (for civil servants, local authority officers, politicians, financiers, developers, researchers, etc).
  • selling SP experiment data together with a manual explaining assumptions, coding and data processing procedures, logit model estimation techniques, results and main conclusions
  • meetings with transport authorities so as to identify areas of interest in the field of transport pricing for further research based on TransPrice data and results
  • meetings with private companies involved in the filed of transport pricing options (payment technologies, private financing of transport systems) offering the consortium's expertise in this field to carry out studies for the applicability of this type of policies and technologies
  • setting-up an "European Economic Interest Group" (EEIG) to undertake a concerted promotion of the above.

    Data and results from TransPrice can be applied, among others, to:

  • specify further transport pricing demonstrations in other cities in Europe or in the rest of the world
  • carry out studies of the applicability of pricing options and associated systems or technologies in other sites
  • estimate the potential impact of pricing options in other sites and to compare the observed results with those obtained in TransPrice so as to draw conclusions on transferability issues
  • provide technical support to national, regional and local authorities in developing pricing options based in the know-how elicited from TransPrice .

    Dissemination activities for TransPrice commenced at the outset of the project, on several fronts and through varying media. In total, more than 25 papers have been presented in conferences or published in journals. The project produced two brochures (initial project outline and final results outline) and a poster, maintained a World Wide Web site, participated in the Joint Scientific Committee of Transport RTD pricing projects and established links with Budapest and Sofia for dissemination of the project results in Central and Eastern Europe.

    10. Names and Addresses of the Co-ordinator and All Partners involved

    Project Co-ordinator :

    Mr Manos Vougioukas euroTRANS Consulting Ltd
    Richmond Bridge House
    419 Richmond Road
    London Twickenham TW1 2EX


    Dr Margaret O'Mahony
    Dept of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
    Trinity College
    University of Dublin

    Dublin 2

    Prof Eliot Laniado
    Consorzio Universitario MIP
    Politecnico di Milano

    Via Fucini 2
    Milano 20133

    Ing Pierantonio Lorini
    Comune di Como
    Ufficio Tecnico Comunale
    Vittorio Emanuele N. 97
    Como 22100
    Prof Andres Monzon
    Universidad Politecnica de Madrid Departamento de Ing Civil Transportes Ciudad Universitaria E-28040 Madrid
    Sr Carlos Cristobal
    Consorcio de Transportes de Madrid (CTM)
    Pza. Descudridor Diego de Ordas 3
    Madrid 28003
    Mr Constantinos Bistis
    Tsitouri 42
    Chalandri, Athens 15231
    Mr Leonidas Nikolakopoulos
    Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA) Metsovou 15
    Athens 106 82

    Mr Ray Haywood
    Dept of Highways & Transportation
    Leeds City Council
    19 Wellington Street
    LS1 4RR

    Dr David Milne
    Institute for Transport Studies
    University of Leeds

    LS2 9JT
    Prof S. Olof Gunnarsson
    Chalmers University of Technology
    Chalmers Science Park
    Sven Hultins gata 9
    Gothenburg S-412 96

    Prof Dr Bernhard Schlag
    Technische Universitaet Dresden
    Hettnerstr 1-3
    D - 01062

    Mr Mike J Smith
    Network Control Group
    University of York

    York Y01 5DD
    Mr John Bann
    City of York Council
    Directorate of Development Services
    9 St Leonard's Place
    York YO1 2ET
    Mr Matti Keranen
    Viatek Group Ltd
    Pohjantie 3
    Finland FIN-02100
    Prof Matti Pursula
    Helsinki University of Technology
    Laboratory of Transportation Engineering Rakentajanaukio 4A
    Espoo FIN-02150
    Prof Gerd Sammer
    Technische Universitat Graz
    Rechbauerstrasse 12
    Graz A-8010
    Dipl-Ing Manfred Hoenig
    Madistrat der Stadt Graz
    Hauptlatz 3
    Graz A-8011

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