Mobility Pricing & TDM

Mobility pricing is commonly associated with transportation demand management (TDM). Due to its ability to manage and shape future travel demand on the road network, TDM has emerged as one of the most cost effective ways to deal with traffic issues. With the help of solid social marketing, the most successful use of TDM occurs when positive incentives (e.g. modal choice information, car pooling programs, teleworking) are combined with user charges that provide a clear price signal to commuters: transit fares, gas taxes, distance-based insurance, parking fees and road pricing (e.g. tolls, congestion charging, mileage based road charges). These user charges are collectively named mobility pricing. 

By increasing or decreasing the price of each measure (preferably by time of day, location and distance travelled), households and businesses are encouraged to make informed transportation choices leading them to choose sustainable modes (transit, cycling, walking), different times of travel and/or more accessible live/work locations. In turn, these choices help to reduce automobile congestion, pollution and the need for expensive road expansion while generating new revenues for transportation infrastructure (if earmarked). Other potential TDM co-benefits include reduced car expenses, increased safety, fewer crashes, better physical health and increased social cohesion.

Although long advocated by economists and TDM practitioners, mobility pricing raises critical policy and technical questions ranging from social equity and privacy concerns to governance and financing issues. Learn much more by attending Transport Futures learning events and visiting the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.