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Economists say dynamic tolls could ease traffic problems

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Economists say dynamic tolls could help alleviate traffic on congested roads. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI |

By Brooks Hays, UPI

A team of economists say traffic problems in Germany and elsewhere could be eased by dynamic tolls.

In an op-ed, newly published this week in the journal Nature, scientists argue the use of dynamic pricing to positively influence driving behavior and alleviate traffic pressures on congested roadways.
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"If the price were set at the right level, enough car drivers would choose to drive at a different time or take a different route or mode of transport to cut congestion," researchers wrote. "Limited road space would be managed in a similar way to airfares, electricity, hotel rooms and train journeys."

Often, the construction of more and bigger roads are proposed as a solution to traffic problems. But studies have shown that building new roads and increasing their size attracts more vehicles, sometimes worsening traffic problems. New roads can also spread traffic problems to previously quiet, uncontested streets.

A dynamic tolling solution would have to be deployed in real time, researchers argue. GPS and telecommunication technologies would allow tolling systems to analyze traffic and adjust pricing accordingly.

Especially busy roads would be priced higher, for example, and would be most expensive at rush hour, encouraging people to drive at different times, carpool or find alternate modes of transportation.

Researchers claim a solution to traffic congestion is needed to save money and protect the environment, not simply to save time and avoid inconveniences.

A dynamic tolling solution would have to be deployed in real time, researchers argue. GPS and telecommunication technologies would allow tolling systems to analyze traffic and adjust pricing accordingly.
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Especially busy roads would be priced higher, for example, and would be most expensive at rush hour, encouraging people to drive at different times, carpool or find alternate modes of transportation.

Researchers claim a solution to traffic congestion is needed to save money and protect the environment, not simply to save time and avoid inconveniences.

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Technology - U.S. Daily News: Economists say dynamic tolls could ease traffic problems
Economists say dynamic tolls could ease traffic problems
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Technology - U.S. Daily News
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