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Project Objective

The project's main focus is to analyze users' behavioral changes as a consequence of the implementation of value pricing by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ).


On January 25, 2001, the PANYNJ approved a new pricing structure with tolls that varied according to time of day and payment technology. It went into effect on March 25, 2001. The PANYNJ saw the plan as a means for reducing congestion, increasing the use of transit and EZPass, and facilitating commercial traffic control management. The main objective of this project is to monitor the impacts of the time of day pricing initiative, both at the system wide level and at the user level.

The project had three main focus areas: Disaggregate Behavioral Impacts, Aggregate Impacts on Traffic and Transit Use, and Public Reaction to the time of day pricing initiative. In the first area, focus group studies and surveys were conducted with both passenger car users and truck dispatchers to gain insights on the behavioral changes produced by the time of day pricing initiative. In the second area, a comprehensive data set with traffic counts at the various PANYNJ toll facilities, classified by type of vehicle and hour of the day, were used to quantify the impact of time of day pricing on overall traffic patterns, E-ZPass usage and time of day traffic changes. The third group focuses on the process followed, reactions and public opinions to, the implementation of the time of day pricing initiative.

The results indicate that 7.4 percent of passenger trips and 20.2 percent of truck trips (including those that increased shipping charges or switched to E-ZPass) changed behavior because of time of day pricing. The time of day pricing resulted in an increase on the percent share of peak shoulder traffic for both trucks and cars during weekdays, and short term pre-peak elasticities are higher than post-peak elasticities during both AM and PM periods on weekdays for almost all of crossings.