A First Best Toll Pricing Framework for Variable Demand Traffic Assignment Problems

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, ridership - commuting, ridership - demand, economics - pricing


Travel models (Travel demand), Travel demand, Travel costs, Traffic assignment, Tolls, Pricing, Origin and destination, Optimization, Optimisation, O&D


This paper extends the first best toll pricing framework for the fixed demand traffic equilibrium model to a general variable demand traffic assignment problem with side constraints. In this problem, the demand between an origin destination pair is a function of the least total travel cost for making the trip. This general demand model unifies earlier toll pricing treatments of the variable demand models including elastic demand traffic assignment problems and combined distribution assignment problems. All of these models have the constant toll revenue property. Given that users experience the side constraints, the authors show that when they are charged by a toll vector in the first best toll set, the system optimal flows and demands are achieved. A toll pricing framework is then presented and illustrated for specific instances of the general variable demand models. by which a traffic planner might find the most appropriate toll vector given certain restrictions and objectives on the network. This could help authorities achieve better use of roads by spreading the traffic over the system and diverting trips to transit. A direction for future research is described.


Transportation Research Part B Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01912615