The report notes that between 1980 and 1999, route miles of highways increased by 1.5 percent, whereas vehicle miles of travel increased by 76 percent, resulting in massive congestion in the nation's cities.
FHWA states, "When searching for a solution to the congestion problem, most people immediately think of adding a new lane to an overburdened highway. Construction costs for adding lanes in urban areas average $10 million per lane mile. In general, the funding for this construction comes from the tax that drivers pay when buying gas for their vehicles. This amount is insufficient to pay for the lane addition. The bargain price paid by motorists for use of expensive new capacity encourages more drivers to use the expanded highway."
It further states, "Introducing congestion pricing on highway facilities would discourage overuse during rush hours by motivating people to travel by other modes, such as carpools or public transportation, or by traveling by automobile at other times of the day."
The report outlines five main types of pricing strategies:
However, the report finds that current congestion pricing has had little impact on mode shift to transit in the United States. But cordon pricing in London and Singapore has proven to be effective in increasing transit usage.
The report concludes with the following "key lessons":
The full report is available at tinyurl.com/FHWA-congestionpricing.