Gaming/Simulation for Research into Road Pricing
A gaming/simulation model has been developed in order to test hypotheses on the decision-making process concerning the introduction of road pricing. Although economic theory holds that road pricing brings net benefits to cities with traffic problems, in most cases it has not been accepted by the public. This implies that the real decision-making process is ruled not only by the “efficiency” that the economic model is based on, but also by other criteria. This paper reviews the political controversies in several cities and clarifies the dynamics where a social decision, either for or against road pricing, was made. It is thus hypothesized that the real issue is how distribution effects result from the policy package, including uses of the tolls collected. A gaming/simulation model on road pricing is then introduced. In order to make the outcomes of simulations understandable, the model focuses on the economic motivation of the players and predicts their behavior with relation to gain or loss.