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Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base
What Is The Importance Of The Theme?
It is often argued that “the principles of road pricing are sound, but the technology is not yet available (or ready)”. In fact experience has shown that available technology is “good enough”. The best must not become the enemy of the good. Interestingly technology was only ranked seventh out of nine in importance in the CURACAO User Needs Assessment Questionnaire (UNAQ) survey. This could mean that the cities felt that appropriate technologies were available, once scheme objectives and other issues like public support were in place.
Key challenges for technology include reliability, cost of implementation and operation, and privacy. Well designed technology can provide greater flexibility in choices, e.g. by providing complex charging regimes, and overcoming equity concerns by permitting varying charges and exemptions for different types of user. A range of options exist, and technologies have evolved over time.
This chapter will consider aspects of technology for detection, charging, payment and enforcement, of relevance to planners and decision makers. Technical detail will be described only at an overview level. The chapter is strongly linked to the preceding chapter on Scheme Design and the following chapter on Business Systems.
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