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Transportation network policy modeling for congestion and pollution control: A variational inequality approach

Padma Ramanujam, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Public concern over the state of the environment has grown over the past decade. All indications are that this concern will continue to influence policy making into the foreseeable future. Road transport is seen as the major contributor to environmental degradation. Transportation planners around the world face the question: cleaner air and/or faster commutes? While individual vehicles can be made more environmentally friendly, the sheer scale of growth in world-wide vehicle numbers is projected to cause significant environmental degradation in the longer run, and in the absence of newer and stricter polices. It is a challenge for governments to find policies that ensure congestion-free metropolitan areas while guaranteeing both critical environmental quality levels and a sufficient infrastructure access to all groups involved. The objective of the dissertation is to provide a mathematical framework to study transportation policy models for the purpose of controlling congestion and pollution. Towards this objective. a series of transportation policy models are developed to study travel behavior and to quantity the reductions in congestion and automobile emissions. The dissertation begins with a brief historical overview of some of the pioneering works in urban transportation economics and later presents the theoretical foundation for the transportation policy models developed. The dissertation introduces single modal and multimodal transportation network policy models that accomplish road pricing with the imposition of goal targets on link loads. as well as, integrated traffic equilibrium models with marketable mobile emission permits. Furthermore, equilibrium conditions are derived for each model, and both qualitative analysis and computational procedures are studied. Finally, the dissertation concludes with a comparative study of the relationship between regulatory pricing models and marketable emission permit transportation models and a discussion on key factors that influence implementation of the proposed policy models. The framework of variational inequalities has been utilized in our dissertation, because it is ideal for equilibrium systems. With the addition of pricing policy interventions and the integration of marketable mobile emission permits, traffic equilibrium models become extremely complex. Consequently, the computation of the equilibrium is made more difficult. However, it is shown in the dissertation that in addition to pricing interventions and the integration of a marketable emission permit system that it is possible to incorporate multiple modes of transport and even to handle the issue of noncompliance, using the framework of variational inequalities.

Subject Area

Operations research|Transportation|Business community|Environmental science|Atmosphere

Recommended Citation

Ramanujam, Padma, "Transportation network policy modeling for congestion and pollution control: A variational inequality approach" (1999). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9920644.