On the Design and Numerical Analysis of Tradable Mobility Credit Strategies
tradable mobility credit
Traffic demand management
agent-based modeling and simulation
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTraffic congestion has been placing an extremely high burden on the development of modern cities. Congestion can be alleviated by either increasing road capacity, or by reducing traffic demand. For decades, increasing capacity by building more roads and lanes has been the major solution applied to accommodate the ever-growing traffic demand. However, it turns out to be of limited effect due to some well-known phenomenon such as latent demand. Controlling and managing traffic demand has in turn been viewed as a cost-effective alternative to increasing road capacity, as has been demonstrated many successful applications all around the world. Within the concept framework of Traffic Demand Management (TDM), Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM) is the dynamic management, control, and influence of traffic demand and traffic flow of transportation facilities. ATDM strategies attempt to influence traveler behavior and further manage traffic flow in a time-dependent manner within the existing infrastructure Successful ATDM applications include congestion pricing, adaptive ramp metering, dynamic speed limits, dynamic lane use control, etc. Singapore stands out to be an excellent success story of ATDM, as the implementations of "Cap and Trade" license plates and electronic road pricing make motoring a high cost privilege for citizens of Singapore, making the public relies on transit. Monetary leverage is an effective instrument to facilitate ATDM. Examples of ATDM applications adopting monetary instrument includes dynamic congestion pricing, "Cap and Trade" of car licenses, etc. Taking congestion pricing as an example, policy makers are inducing travelers' behavior and alternating their preferences towards different behavior decisions by levying price tags to different choices. As an important underpinning of rationing choice theory, an individual assigns an ordinal number over the available actions and this ordinal number is calculated by their utility function or payoff function. The individual's preference is expressed as the relationship between those ordinal assignments. In the implementation of congestion pricing, policy makers are imposing an additional high disutility to congested roads and therefore pushing some of the travelers to take alternative routes or shift to alternative departure times or even cancel the trips. However, congestion pricing suffers from public aversion as it creates burden on the motoring of low-income people and therefore doesn't help to alleviate social inequality. The concept of Tradable Mobility Credit (TMC) has been proposed by a group of researchers as another innovative application to facilitate dynamic traffic demand management and solve social inequality issues using pricing instruments. The concept of TMC is borrowed from carbon trading in environmental control. A limited quota of personal auto usage is issued to eligible travelers and credits can be traded in a free market fashion. This guarantees that the roadway usage does not exceed capacity while avoiding the negative effects of shortages normally associated with quotation systems. TMC is literally not a market-ready policy as the integration of the supporting infrastructures, including the trading market, the credit assignment component, and the credit charging component, has not been fully explored yet. Existing TMC research focuses on explaining and exploring the equilibrium condition through analytical methods such as mathematical modeling. Analytical models produce perfect convergence curves and deterministic equilibrium traffic flow patterns. Analytical models provide influential guidance for further works but the solution procedure may encounter problems when dealing with larger real world networks and scenarios. Meantime, current analytical models don't consider the microstructure of the credit trading market sufficiently while it's actually the most unique component of TMC system. Motivated by those concerns, an integrated TMC evaluation platform consisting of a policy making module and traveler behavior modules are proposed in this research. The concept of Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation (ABMS) is extensively adopted in this integrated platform as each individual traveler carries his/her personal memory across iterations. The goal of establishing this framework is to better predict a traveler's route choice and trading behavior if TMC is imposed and further provide intelligence to potential policy makers' decision making process. The proposed integrated platform is able to generate results at different aggregation levels, including both individual level microscopic behavior data as well as aggregated traffic flow and market performance data. In order to calibrate the proposed integrated platform, an online interactive experiment is designed based on an experimental economic package and a human research element with 22 participants has been conducted on this experiment platform to gather field data regarding a real person's route choice behavior and credit trading behavior in an artificial TMC system. Participants are recruited from forum, listserve, social media, etc. The calibrated platform is proved to have the ability to predict travelers' behavior accurately. A prototype market microstructure is proposed in this research as well and it is proved to be a cost-effective setting and resulted to a vast amount of economic saving given the fact that travelers would behave similar to the prediction generated by traveler behavior module. It's also demonstrated that the principle of Pareto-improving is not achieved in the proposed ABMS models.
Degree ProgramGraduate College