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Pri¢ing

(defining)

Terms

You've probably seen many phrases being thrown out there. Many of them don't seem super obvious. Let's use the information below to understand these terms better.

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user pricing

cordon pricing

transport pricing

mobility pricing

road pricing

congestion pricing

network  pricing

corridor  pricing

Definition + Clarity

Mobility

Pricing

this is a really broad term that's used to refer to different things

Transit Fares

fuel costs

parking fees

car / bike share fees

road / bridge tolls

car insurance

ride-hailing / taxi fares

congestion pricing

This important concept...

these terms refer to all the ways a user would pay to get around

Charging vehicles a fee for using the road network

...goes by many names that are often used interchangeably

Congestion Pricing

Road Pricing

Transport Pricing

Mobility

Pricing

no matter what we call it, this concept is based on the User-Pays Principle.

User-Pays

Principle?

This is a principle within Mobility Pricing that relates to how we pay/price. A user pays for how much they use the mobility network.

This can be applied through a blunt mechanism (e.g. 3 zone transit fares, annual insurance costs, fuel costs), or in ways where the price is more reflective of the use (e.g. distance-based insurance and transit fares, road usage charges).

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Why do we price mobility?

- Pay for Operations + Maintenance

- Raise revenue

- Generate Profit (private sector)

- Manage the mobility system

Issues with Existing Pricing Methods

01

In recent years, we have separated how much we use from how much we pay. That is, our usage is not as reflective of the costs, as it once was. Sometimes, we use blunt mechanisms to price mobility.

Let's look at an example of this

zone 1
zone 2

Say you were on the SkyTrain going from Station A to Station B

stn
A
stn
B

5 km

$$

Since you crossed the zone boundary, you would be charged a two-zone fare of $4.35 (cash) or $3.55 (Compass card), even though you only travelled one stop.

zone 1

$

stn
A
stn
B

10 km

But, if you travelled one stop in the same zone, you would only be charged $3.05 (cash) or $2.45 (Compass Card), even if the distance you travelled was twice as long.

This blunt mechanism of 'cut-off points' evidently does not reflect how much one actually uses the system.

02

Often, current pricing mechanisms do not capture all users of the system.

For example, the fuel tax does not apply to electric vehicles, but these vehicles still add to congestion on the road network. Current pricing misses that.

03

We currently do not pay for many indirect costs of mobility, like...

Congestion

Noise

Greenhouse

Gases

Crashes

Implementing a solution to address these indirect costs on society is normally covered under what's known as the User Cost Principle.

User Cost

Principle?

This is a principle within Mobility Pricing that relates to how much one contributes to indirect costs on society like congestion.

Under this concept, a user would pay in proportion to how much they contribute.

Making sense of

The Systems

There are three types of Road Pricing systems:

Area / Cordon System

A fee is charged for driving into or within a defined boundary area. 

You probably saw this in the news coverage about Vancouver's proposal. 

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Corridor System

This system charges a set fee for using a road, bridge, or tunnel to pay for that piece of infrastructure.

The former tolling system on the Port Mann bridge is an example of this.

Network System

This system charges a fee for the use of roads over the entire mobility network, typically measured in terms of distance travelled.

Oregon was studying implementing this system for cars of certain fuel efficiency.

Metro Vancouver

(a brief history)

Metro Van

Road Pricing has been discussed many times over the previous decades and features in many regional plans. In some plans, it's been envisioned in a package of other mobility pricing measures. 

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1993

yeah, we've been talking about doing this for a while.

Use the tool below to learn more. You can download all documents mentioned here in the Resources section.

In 2017, The Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation and TransLink's board set up a Mobility Pricing Independent  Commission  to study if a pricing system could be implemented in Metro Van to manage congestion, promote fairness, and support investment.

The City of Vancouver approved the Transportation 2040 plan for Vancouver that covers a multi-modal mobility and access improvements throughout the city. Transit financing was also mentioned with 'road pricing' and other mobility pricing tools endorsed.

2017/18

2013

Moving in Metro  was hosted by Moving in a Livable Region and the SFU Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue to engage the community on 'road pricing' in Metro Vancouver. Community dialogues were held in Fall 2013 with a regional summit in Nov 2013. Final reports were released in Feb 2014.

1993

Metro Vancouver (then Greater Vancouver Regional District) and the Province of BC released Transport 2021: A Long-Range Transportation Plan for Greater Vancouver which endorsed 'road pricing' to reduce congestion, accurately signal user costs, and raise revenue for transportation improvements.  

2012

2011

Metro Vancouver released Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping Our Future, its Regional Growth Strategy. the strategy requested action of other governments and agencies; in the transportation sector, it calls for the implementation of demand management measures such as user-based pricing.

2014/18

In 2014, the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation released its 10 Year Vision. The Vision outlined funding mechanisms that would help pay for the investments in transportation infrastructure in Metro Vancouver, including mobility pricing.

Goals + Concerns

(let's balance)

Goals + Concerns

goals

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we need to act on our GHG footprint

we need to support our growth with infrastructure

we need to de-congest roads + shift modes of travel

concerns

the money should have specific, transparent use

we need to be fair in how we will implement pricing

pricing needs to solve issues rather than replace them

COVID shifted the need for a commute; what now?

Goals
Concerns

People's

Lives

(understanding impact)

Scroll over to explore.

Fairness + Equity
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The Region

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Who are the

People Who

Move?

Click the yellow buttons to take a look at some of the different residents in the region and how their mobility needs are affected by regional decisions.

Please note that this list is not meant to be exhaustive. We cycle through different examples frequently.

The People in the Region
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(around the world)

Examples

Road Pricing is not a made-in-BC concept. It is already in place, or being studied, in many places around the world, and we can learn from these examples.

Global Examples

Interactive

Map

North America

Europe

Asia

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(unpacking)

Vancouver

You've probably seen the new proposals from the City of Vancouver with the map of an outlined portion of the city centre along with the term 'mobility pricing' or 'transport pricing'. Let's clear some things up.

Vancouver's Proposal

(super quick)

The Facts

01

Transport Pricing is NOT being implemented in Vancouver just yet.

02

A feasibility study will be undertaken and update back to Council in 2022.

03

City staff will consult with stakeholders, including residents, on the strategy.

05

The City states that equity will be one of the key considerations of the work.

04

Collaboration with regional and provincial partners will take place.

06

Vancouver uses the term 'Transport Pricing' to refer to charging a road use fee.

(some details)

City Plans

2021-2022

2023

2024

Stakeholder engagement on interests and priorities including impacts of COVID-19 and equity considerations.
Council update on findings.

Develop feasible transport pricing options that include potential boundaries and pricing. Engage public to discuss impacts, mitigation, and opportunities. Council decision to move forward and refine recommended option.

Refine transport pricing strategy with further stakeholder input. Council decision to move forward and implement transport pricing in Vancouver.

Explore

Develop

Refine

2026

Implement

If approved, transport pricing will be implemented

(from the City)

Reasons

The City wants to reduce traffic during congested times to make other modes of travel more reliable

They want to create more road space for transit and active transportation (i.e. walking + cycling)

They want the revenue from transport pricing to be invested in transit and walking + cycling to increase access