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The Alpine Crossing Exchange - Feasibility study (VSS 2002/902)

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Network corridors
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The project examines the feasibility of the idea of an Alpine Transit Rights Trading Exchange that has been brought up by political parties. Different conceptual alternatives of the Alpine Transit Rights Trading Exchange need to be developed to the extent where they can be evaluated according to different criteria. The main legal, institutional, technical and operational questions are to be addressed. Proposals for the auctioning process need to be  developed and the effects of the Trading Exchange on traffic, on the environment and on the economy are to be estimated.


The crucial objectiv of the project is  the examination of the feasibility of an Alpine Transit Rights Trading Exchange for heavy goods vehicles with consideration of the situation in the neighbouring countries and development of possible concepts with alternatives and their evaluation.


The project activities will be provided in following steps:

  • survey of literature
  • theoretical analysis
  • modelling (summarily)


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


Road-based freight traffic has been showing increased growth for several years now. The results are traffic overloading at nerve-points such as the alpine crossings, and negative effects on both people and nature.

The Alpine crossing exchange (ACE) is an instrument which uses market mechanisms to ration the number of alpine-crossing trips or the scarce road capacity at the alpine crossing points. The final report of the project describes how an ACE might be implemented and how it can be assessed from the legal and economic perspectives. It was produced by the Ecoplan and Rapp Trans study group on behalf of the Swiss Association of Road and Traffic Experts.

Two basic models for an ACE can be distinguished:

The cap-and-trade version is a mandatory system of tradable alpine crossing rights. It is intended to provide an economically efficient implementation of a volume-based restriction of trans-alpine, road-based freight traffic. The crossing rights could be awarded either free of charge, sold at a fixed price, or auctioned off. The auction would be the most efficient form of an initial allocation. After the allocation, crossing rights could be freely traded. The trade can take place directly between the freight transport companies, via intermediaries or by means of a special platform where the allocation could take place as well. The crossing rights will be issued in the form of an electronic permit, which can be printed out before the trip or displayed on wireless devices. A check will be made at a suitable location as to whether all the vehicles have valid crossing rights.

Slot management with dynamic pricing concerns a voluntary system of cost-based, tradable reservation rights, which authorise the passage of an alpine crossing point during a specific time window or slot. The aim is to improve the utilisation of road capacity and to reduce traffic queues and waiting time.

These two models are deeply explored in the final report of the project.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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