In recent years, the development of traffic has lead to an attainment of the maximum capacity of transport infrastructure in Switzerland. Therefore there is discussion of extending the road network as well as railway infrastructure. On the other hand, technological development also allows the use of performance oriented and differentiated pricing systems in the area of transportation. Successful domestic and foreign examples (i.e. the Swiss Heavy Vehicles Fee, the Congestion Charging Scheme in London) have encouraged this discussion. The value of such systems both for transport management and for financing of transport is well recognised. In this environment the Swiss Federal Roads Authority (FEDRO) has triggered the Mobility Pricing research programme.
"Transport Financing Models" is one of the key issues of the 2004-2007 research strategy of the Committee for Road research of the Swiss Federal Ministry of Transport. The Research programme on Mobility Pricing, which includes nine individual research projects and an additional synthesis project, aims to examine all aspects of charging for the use of transport infrastructure and services. It will produce findings about the instruments and mechanisms in the overlapping domain of transport financing and traffic management and answer the questions about the consequences of moving transport financing away from general taxes and making it more use related.
The objective of the Mobility Pricing research programme was to find answers for the following questions:
- To what extent can Mobility Pricing contribute to solving transport problems?
- What are the effects of Mobility Pricing on the traffic behaviour?
- Which Mobility Pricing systems and strategies are suited for achieving political targets?
- Where and when should Mobility Pricing be applied; what is desirable?
- Is Mobility Pricing in Switzerland feasible and if yes, how?
- What are the financial, temporal, technical, operational, legal and political requirements for introducing Mobility Pricing?
The research programme consists of three groups of projects:
- A - Acceptability of Mobility Pricing and relevance for transport financing
- B - Modelling: basis and verification
- C - Technical, operational and organisational aspects of Mobility Pricing
Additionally, there is one additional project that makes a synthesis of all the other projects.
The research programme was founded by the Swiss Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) and carried out in cooperation with the Swiss Association of Road and Transportation Experts (VSS).