Interview with Alex Bayen on Traffic Congestion Pricing and the Technology behind it

Featured Faculty: Alexandre M. Bayen

The technology supporting traffic reduction efforts like congestion pricing mirrors toll road technologies, and is poised to venture further into video and GPS-based systems in the future.

US cities will likely look to places like Singapore, London and Stockholm, which have adopted congestion pricing traffic control programs. Singapore was one of the earliest to adopt congestion pricing, using overhead gantries and short-range radio technology similar to California's FasTrak.

“It was essentially variable tolls on the major freeways,” said CEE Professor Alexandre M. Bayen, Director of the Institute for Transportation Studies, adding that the system was not considered hugely revolutionary at the time, but is still all but unthinkable stateside.

“With some form of adaptive pricing — and the notion being that if you want to decongest, you price more — you publish the fares ahead of time, and then people won’t use it,” said Bayen, explaining the concept further.

Where congestion pricing can be really effective is when it’s partnered with other mobility options. By improving existing transportation options, like more buses or light rail, cities could further the mission of guiding commuters away from their cars.

See complete article, Congestion Pricing: Is There a Perfect Solution? (FutureStructure, 4.17.19)

Published 04/19/2019