. "Appendix C Review and Synthesis of Road Use Metering and Charging Systems: Executive Summary." The Fuel Tax and Alternatives for Transportation Funding: Special Report 285. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2006.
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The Fuel Tax and Alternatives for Transportation Funding: Special Report 285
drivers. Fortunately, it is possible to ensure the privacy of user data, both at the technical and institutional levels. On the other hand, many press accounts continue to highlight concerns over privacy, despite the fact that this issue has been addressed satisfactorily in many of the cases studied. For this reason, efforts to implement distance-based charging schemes often include coordinated public education campaigns to address and diffuse popular and political objections to tolling proposals on privacy grounds.
Other factors influencing public and political acceptance: Along with equity and privacy, a number of other issues appear to be important with respect to building public and political support for new pricing programs such as distance-based user fees. Most notably, these include the severity of the problem to be addressed and the inadequacy of other solution strategies, the degree of integration with other related policies (such as the provision of improved transit service), the degree to which “losers” under the new pricing regime can be compensated in some manner, perceptions over the adequacy of the proposed enforcement scheme, and the expansion or contraction of travel options created by the program.
Keys to building public and political support: In addition to the programmatic factors that can influence the level of public and political acceptance, experience from the various cases studied indicates that there are a variety of strategies that pricing program proponents have pursued to enhance the prospects for political success. These include establishing the technical details of the program early on (so as to build confidence in the feasibility of the project), engaging in sophisticated marketing efforts (including focus groups, targeted messaging, and coordinated framing of the debate), reaching out to key stakeholder groups early in the process, cultivating political champions, actively courting the media, and providing positive testimonials from other successful projects of a similar nature.