Drivers' responses to road-user charges using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology

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Authors: Thorpe, N. and Hills, P.J.

Journal: IEE Conference Publication

Issue: 472

Pages: 131-138

ISSN: 0537-9989

This paper describes the design and implementation of a field-trial of a GPS-based road-user charging system held in Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. Employees from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne were recruited to participate in experiments of both point-based and distance-based charging. To avoid road-user charges for commuting to and from the University during the trial period, volunteers could choose either to reschedule the departure time of their trip or to use an alternative uncharged route. Virtual charging-points were implemented using GPS equipment and the on-board charging system designed and developed by the research team in Newcastle. The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 provides an introduction to the field-trial, in terms of its aims and objectives and the general approach employed for investigating road-users' behavioural responses to charges; Section 3 describes the technical development of the on-board automatic debiting system, which was based upon the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system for real-time vehicle locationing; the arrangement of `virtual' charging-cordons and screenlines is discussed in detail in Section 4; the results and conclusions from the field-trial are presented in Sections 5 and 6 respectively including a discussion of the future directions for empirical research on road-user charging.

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