The Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies has outlined the most critical transportation issues facing the nation in this first decade of the new century. These issues have been highlighted to focus attention on the most significant policy decisions facing the nation and on the areas most in need of innovation. Many of these issues are clearly within the purview of the Congestion Pricing Committee. Those with the most direct connection to the committee’s work are:
- Congestion: Increasingly congested facilities across all modes;
- Energy and Environment: Extraordinary energy and environmental challenges;
- Equity: Geographic distribution of benefits and potential burdens on the disadvantaged;
- Finance: Inadequate revenues;
- Infrastructure: Enormous aging capital stock to maintain; and
- Institutions: 20th century institutions facing 21st century challenges
The issues specified by the TRB Executive Committee are closely related to those identified by the TRB’s Policy & Organizational Group (POG), under which the Congestion Pricing Committee falls. The POG has identified a number of critical cross-cutting issues that will require collaboration and action from an array of TRB committees in order to make meaningful advances in addressing these needs adequately. The Congestion Pricing Committee has reviewed these and is prepared to contribute to the following:
- Congestion: Addressing congestion through multimodal pricing approaches.
- Finance: Examining road pricing strategies as potential future supplements or replacements for the motor fuel tax.
- Sustainability: Exploring how congestion pricing and pricing-based applications can contribute to a sustainable transportation system.
To fulfill its mission, the Committee has established five major goals:
- Promote Research and Best Practices – Promote research to evaluate impacts and identify best practices from transportation projects that incorporate pricing in project planning, programming, development and implementation, as well as in post-implementation operations and evaluation.
- Disseminate Knowledge on Best Practices and Related Research – Disseminate knowledge on best practices and related research findings to transportation professionals and key decision makers in public agencies and private organizations in order to increase knowledge about the best practices and impacts of transportation pricing.
- Address the Pricing Issues Critical to Different Stakeholder and User Groups – Identify critical issues related to transportation pricing concepts and applications for key stakeholders and transportation user groups, such as highway operators and users, the freight and goods movement industries, transit operators and users, environmental interests, infrastructure financiers and investors, etc. Advance common research and collaborative activities to establish fact-based decisions about the role of pricing in transportation projects and programs.
- Advance Pricing Concepts Related to All Modes and System-wide Applications – Advance the exploration of issues related to new concepts of transportation pricing of non-highway modes (i.e., transit, parking, marine terminal access, aviation groundside, aviation air space, etc.), as well as aspects of integrated transportation system impacts of multi-modal transportation pricing.
- Improve Committee Effectiveness – Continually improve the Committee’s operating effectiveness and its ability to engender collaboration and adapt to changing conditions. Establish linkages and collaborate with other TRB committees on topics related to transportation pricing.