CENIT-WP-2016-04

Abstract:

A review of the current pricing and funding model for interurban roads in Catalonia is timely due to the forthcoming finalization of toll concessions and the diminishing in road taxes collection. This paper proposes a comprehensive policy approach for a new network-wide road pricing model with the ambition of simultaneously dealing with financial sustainability, mobility management, and spatial equity. This requires a multi-objective perspective involving multiple trade-offs. The rationale for these trade-offs is analysed and a diagnosis of the Catalan road network is performed based on a revenues costs-matrix, which is built on a deep study of revenues and costs for the interurban network disaggregated by type of vehicle and class of road.

Based on this, a consistent road pricing model for the complete road network is drawn and feasible implementation paths are defined. The resulting pricing scheme is focused on the road operation. Charges cover maintenance, operation and external costs of the whole road network whereas the fix costs of road development would be financed by the public budget. In this way, road charges and fuel taxes are complementary and simultaneously cover the full social costs of road. Then, a two-part tariff is set such that a lump-sum charge covers the costs related to second-class roads and a unit tariff per distance is charged in motorways. Lastly, alternative implementation paths from the status quo to the proposed model are set by considering technological feasibility and other social and juridical constraints.