, 36:167 | Cite as

Road user charging design: dealing with multi-objectives and constraints

  • Agachai Sumalee
  • Simon Shepherd
  • Anthony May
Original Paper


This paper proposes an innovative approach for designing a road user charging scheme to meet multiple policy objectives. Three practical features are integrated into the design methodology including (i) cordon formation, (ii) a set of design constraints, and (iii) multiple objectives of the scheme. The methods also consider possible responses of road travellers to the charging scheme. Two methods based on genetic algorithms (GA) are developed for optimising a charging cordon scheme with constraints and with multiple objectives. The dynamic self-adaptive penalty GA and Non-dominated Sorting GA II (NSGA-II) are applied to the constrained design and multi-objective design respectively. The objective functions or constraints considered include social welfare improvement, revenue generation, and distributional equity impact. A case study of the City of Edinburgh is presented and common characteristics of charging cordon designs which perform well against the three objectives are discussed.


Road pricing Cordon pricing Multi-objectives Genetic algorithms Policy optimization 



This research was funded partially by the UK Department for Transport, the General Research Fund of the Hong Kong Research Grant Council (PolyU5261/07E), and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The authors also would like to thank Prof. David Watling and Dr. Dave Milne for fruitful discussion about this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Structural EngineeringThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung HomHong Kong
  2. 2.Institute for Transport StudiesUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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