, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 427–443 | Cite as

The impacts of time of day pricing on car user behavior: findings from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s initiative

  • José Holguín-VerasEmail author
  • Qian Wang
  • Ning Xu
  • Kaan Ozbay


This paper discusses the key findings from a research project that assessed the impacts of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Time of Day Pricing Initiative on the behavior of passenger car users. The survey data, comprised of 505 observations, show that 7.4% of passenger trips changed behavior because of the time of day pricing initiative, and that demand is inelastic to tolls with elasticities in the range of −0.11 to −0.24. Passenger car users who changed behavior responded to time of day pricing by implementing multidimensional strategies (3.23 different behavioral changes per user on average), involving behavioral responses such as changes in facility usage, changes in time of travel, changes in the payment type, and changes in mode/occupancy. The most frequently cited behavioral response was to shift mode, either to transit or carpool, and maintain the original time of travel (done in 2.55% of trips), instead of changing time of travel and maintaining the use of the passenger car (0.69% of trips). This reluctance to change travel schedules is undoubtedly a reflection of the limited time of travel flexibility that, on average, was estimated to be 20.4 and 12.3 min for early and late arrival for work-related trips. This, in turn, suggests the need for comprehensive policies, possibly involving incentives or regulations to foster employers’ participation in staggered/flexible work hour programs. Such approaches, combined with time of day pricing, are likely to be more effective in balancing car traffic during the day. Other behavioral responses of significance were reduce the number of trips made during the weekday peak-hours (1.65%), and switching to EZ-Pass to take advantage of the toll discounts (0.81%).


Road pricing Time of day pricing initiative Behavioral changes 



This project was sponsored by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s Value Pricing Program, through the University Transportation Research Center. Additional support was provided by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Special thanks are due to Mark Muriello and Danny Jiji (PANYNJ) for their support and assistance throughout this investigation. The opinions and conclusions presented are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of sponsors and participating agencies.


  1. Burris, M.W., Pendyala, R.M.: Discrete choice models of traveler participation in differential time of day pricing programs. Transp. Policy 9(3), 241–251 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cain, A., Burris, M.W., et al.: The impact of variable pricing on the temporal distribution of travel demand. Transp. Res. Rec. 1747, 36–43 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Holguín-Veras, J.: Necessary conditions for off-hour deliveries and the effectiveness of urban freight road pricing and alternative financial policies. Transp. Res. A: Policy Pract. 42A(2), 392–413 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Holguín-Veras, J., Ozbay, K., et al.: Evaluation study of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s time of day pricing initiative. In: Trenton, N.J. (ed.) New Jersey Department of Transportation. (2005)
  5. Holguín-Veras, J., Ozbay, K. et al.: Integrative freight demand management in the New York City metropolitan area. (2010)
  6. Holguín-Veras, J., Silas, M., et al.: An investigation on the effectiveness of joint receiver-carrier policies to increase truck traffic in the off-peak hours. Part I: the behavior of receivers. Netw. Spatial Econ. 7(3), 277–295 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Holguín-Veras, J., Silas, M., et al.: An investigation on the effectiveness of joint receiver-carrier policies to increase truck traffic in the off-peak hours. Part II: the behavior of carriers. Netw. Spatial Econ. 8, 327–354 (2008). doi: 10.1007/s11067-006-9011-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Holguín-Veras, J., Wang, Q., et al.: Impacts of time of day pricing on the behavior of freight carriers in a congested urban area: implications to road pricing. Transp. Res. A: Policy Pract. 40(9), 744–766 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Johnson, M.B.: On the economics of road congestion. Econometrica 32(1–2), 137–150 (1964)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lindsey, R., Verhoef, E.T.: Traffic congestion and congestion pricing. In: Button, K., Hensher, D. (eds.) Handbook of transport systems and traffic control, pp. 77–105. Pergamon, Amsterdam (2001)Google Scholar
  11. Nelson, J.C.: The pricing of highways, waterways, and airways facilities. Am. Econ. Rev. 52(2), 426–435 (1962)Google Scholar
  12. Oum, T.H., Waters, W.G., et al. A survey of recent estimates of price elasticities of demand for transport. Policy Research Working Paper Series. No. WPS 359. The World Bank (1990)Google Scholar
  13. Pigou, A.C.: The economics of welfare. London: MacMillan and Co. (1920)Google Scholar
  14. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ): Tolls of Six Hudson Crossings. (2010). Retrieved 30 August 2010
  15. Saleh, W., Farrell, S.: Implications of congestion charging for departure time choice: work and non-work schedule flexibility. Transp. Res. A: Policy Pract. 39(7–9), 773–791 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. U.S. Census Bureau: Median income of households by state: 1984 to 2003 two-year moving averages. (2004). Retrieved 22 July 2007
  17. Vickrey, W.S.: Congestion theory and transport investment. Am. Econ. Rev. 59(2), 251–260 (1969)Google Scholar
  18. Walters, A.A.: The theory and measurement of private and social cost of highway congestion. Econometrica 29(4), 676–699 (1961)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Holguín-Veras
    • 1
    Email author
  • Qian Wang
    • 2
  • Ning Xu
    • 3
  • Kaan Ozbay
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental EngineeringUniversity at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  3. 3.Northwest Airlines, IncEaganUSA
  4. 4.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringRutgers UniversityPiscatawayUSA

Personalised recommendations