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Urban Road User Charging Online Knowledge Base
What Are The Implications For Other Themes?In what follows we summarise under key headings the implications for Urban Road User Charging in relation to other themes in CURACAO:
• Objectives: Whilst CURACAO has found evidence to suggest that equity is becoming less of a concern to key decision makers, it should continue to be considered either as an objective of, or more appropriately a constraint on, urban road user charging schemes.
• Scheme Design: More guidance is needed on how to incorporate equity considerations into scheme design. However, schemes can be designed which make due consideration of equity. Key characteristics include:
1. the location of a scheme;
2. when the charge is applied - time of day and on which days charges are appropriate;
3. the level of charge;
4. exemptions and rebates; and
5. use of revenues – for example to invest in improving public transport.
• Technology and Business Models: It is not clear that there is a link between technology or business models and equity
• Prediction: For equity considerations, more research and development is needed for models which predict the impact of urban road user charging on individuals, and individual journeys, disaggregated by income, location, time of day and journey purpose. Ideally, those models should also identify impacts on people who might be at particular risk of social exclusion, such as disabled drivers. Where scheme design includes exemptions and rebates, models should ideally be able to assess their impacts.
• Traffic effects: The issue of inequity in relation to traffic effects can arise in two ways. If traffic reduction has been achieved through effectively pricing motorists out of their cars and onto public transport, for instance, then it might be argued that they have been disproportionately impacted by the URUC scheme, so this might be considered to be evidence of inequity. Conversely, if traffic reductions occur in a low income area, this may be an indication of improved equity.
• Environment: Any appraisal of environmental benefits and disbenefits should consider how these impacts affect different sectors of the population differently. For example, people who live in inner city neighbourhoods, who may be characterised by low income and reduced opportunities, might benefit most from positive impacts such as cleaner air, and reduced noise and visual intrusion in these areas. Poorer neighbourhoods, which are characterised by high child pedestrian accident rates, might certainly benefit disproportionately from safety improvements brought about by traffic reduction.
• Economy: Economic impacts can have substantial secondary impacts on equity. For example, low income households in the rented sector are more likely to have to move if rental values increase. Those without good (public) transport access are more vulnerable if facilities such as shops close or vacate an area as a direct result of urban road user charging.
• Appraisal: Equity is a key element in the appraisal process, in as much as it forces the appraiser to consider the value of a scheme, with all its benefits and disbenefits, to all sectors of the population. Actual and perceived equity might be as critical to the acceptability and viability of a scheme as any calculation of global benefits.
• Acceptability: Those who are, or perceive that they are, more adversely affected can be expected to find urban road user charging less acceptable. Perceptions of inequity may also increase concerns over acceptability.
• Transferability: Equity impacts, underlying equity concerns and resulting design responses to inequities are likely to differ significantly between cities. Little is known about the scale of these differences.
• Implementation: Equity considerations feature mainly in the planning, design and consultation phases of a scheme, and then again, post-implementation, during monitoring, appraisal and evaluation.
• Evaluation: It is crucial that consideration of equity issues is a major part of scheme appraisal and evaluation. All efforts to evaluate schemes should qualify their findings in terms of the different population groups / target groups that might be affected.
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