Puget Sound Regional Council

The Traffic Choices Study is a federally funded pilot that tested new ways to reduce traffic congestion and fund transportation. The study investigated how travelers change their travel behavior in response to tolling that varied by time of day and location.

How the Study Worked

Representative drivers from throughout the region participated in the 18-month study. Four hundred and fifty vehicles from over 275 households were outfitted with an in-vehicle (taxi-like) metering device. The Traffic Choices Meter identified a vehicle’s location and displayed the cost to use each road. The results represent the value placed on road access by a random sample of diverse volunteer participants using key roads throughout the Puget Sound region.

A Partnership

The study was funded by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration, and led by the Puget Sound Regional Council along with support from our partner, the Washington State Department of Transportation.

ECONorthwest was the lead on project management, research design, technology selection, and data preparation and analysis. Their team included PB (technology selection and tariff modeling) and PRR (recruitment, participant management, survey administration).

Siemens provided the tolling system technology, systems integration and toll system operations. Their team included CarToys (installation of in-vehicle equipment) and Cingular (wireless communications).

The Results

The primary aims of the Traffic Choices Study were to (1) accurately describe the behavioral response to the congestion-based tolling of roadways, (2) better understand issues of policy related to the implementation of road tolling, and (3) test an integrated system of technical solutions to the problem of tolling a large network of roads without installing substantial physical hardware on the roadside. Read the Traffic Choices Summary Report for more information.

Puget Sound Regional Council • 1011 Western Ave, Suite 500 • Seattle, WA 98104 • 206-464-7090