The City of Seattle is exploring congestion pricing as a way to address traffic congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create a more equitable transportation system. Nelson\Nygaard is leading a team through an initial study, focused on screening potential pricing tools, developing an equitable approach to engagement and program design, and conducting a preliminary impacts and benefits analysis.
The study starts from an understanding that our current transportation system is inequitable and includes an equity analysis to understand the Seattle and regional populations, modes, and geographies that would be affected by different pricing tools. The work includes estimating impacts and benefits by race and income, as well as estimating potential greenhouse gas reductions.
The Nelson\Nygaard team developed a Seattle-specific pricing model to test several pricing scenarios, including cordon and area pricing as well as vehicle miles traveled pricing. The model provides a more detailed look at more than 20 categories of impacts and benefits, along with cost and revenue estimates, to inform upcoming policy discussions.
Moving forward, Nelson\Nygaard will identify the supportive projects, programs, and policies that would be needed to design an equitable pricing program. This includes opportunities for revenue investment and potential mitigation strategies. Future phases of the work will include more detailed analysis and a significant focus on equitable engagement with the region’s residents to design a possible program that best meets the city’s goals.