Innovative Parking Pricing Demonstration in the Twin Cities: Introducing Flexibility and Incentives to Parking Contracts

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Innovative Parking Pricing Demonstration in the Twin Cities: Introducing Flexibility and Incentives to Parking Contracts

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Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota




Parking pricing has taken on a role beyond recouping infrastructure investment costs and is now also being utilized as a public policy tool for travel demand management. Recently developed tools for travel demand management include innovative parking pricing strategies that incentivize alternative mode choice. The principal goal of this research is to examine the effects on commuter mode choice of introducing flexibility and incentives into monthly parking contracts. The demonstration consisted of running four different test modules over the course of three four-month periods. The four test modules include a discounted transit pass option (Buying Flexibility), two forms of rebate programs (Marginal Rebate and PayGo), and a free transit pass option (Disincentive Removal). The first rebate program, Marginal Rebate, offered a rebate for the difference between the marginal parking cost and transit fare on days when transit was used. The second rebate program, PayGo, offered the same transit rebate in addition to a rebate for the full marginal parking cost on days when a mode other than parking or transit was used. Analysis of the commuting behavior among participants in this study demonstrated that the level of incentive positively correlates to the propensity for mode shift to occur, with significant and increasing mode shift in the two programs that offered the greatest flexibility and incentive. However, the data collected also indicates that a discounted or free transit pass is not enough to entice mode change. Potential to deploy parking contract models that include flexibility and incentives are also briefly explored.


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