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Variable Tolls in France. International Symposium on Road Pricing Key Biscayne, Florida – November 19-22, 2003 David LECOFFRE, Transportation Attaché Embassy of France Washington, D.C. Overview. Toll Roads in France Toll Rates in France Variable Tolls in France

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Variable Tolls in France

International Symposium on Road Pricing

Key Biscayne, Florida – November 19-22, 2003

David LECOFFRE, Transportation Attaché

Embassy of France

Washington, D.C.

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Overview

  • Toll Roads in France

  • Toll Rates in France

  • Variable Tolls in France

  • Case Studies of Variable Tolls

  • Conclusions

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Toll Roads in FranceGeneral Information about France

  • Area : 550,000 sq. km

  • Population : 60 million

  • 22 “regions”

  • 100 counties

  • 36,000 cities/local districts

  • Private cars : 29 million

  • Comm. vehicles: 5.5 million

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Toll Roads in FranceFrench Road Network

  • National Highways

    • 6,500 miles (75% toll roads)

    • Traffic > 30,000 vehicles per day (vpd)

  • Other National Roads

    • 20,000 miles

    • Traffic > 10,000 vpd

  • County Roads

    • 200,000 miles

    • Traffic > 1,000 vpd

  • Local Districts Roads

    • 300,000 miles

    • Traffic > 100 vpd

  • France is in a process of shifting road ownership of a large part of the road network from national level to county level

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Toll Roads in FranceHistory of French Toll Roads

  • ~ 50 years of toll road concessions experience

  • 1955 Toll Act authorizing:

    • creation of state owned toll road companies

    • right to levy tolls to finance the “construction, maintenance and operation of highways”

  • Profitable toll roads have subsidized non profitable

  • 5,000 miles toll roads constructed and now in operation in France

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Toll Roads in FranceFrench Toll Roads Today

  • ~ 5,000 miles of toll roads concessions

    • 4,500 miles operated by 6 mainly publicly owned companies (ASF, SAPRR, SANEF, ESCOTA, AREA, SAPN)

    • 500 miles operated by a private company (COFIROUTE)

  • 2 international tunnels operated by publicly owned companies (ATMB, SFTRF)

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Toll Roads in FranceRole of the French Government

  • Perspectives of “privatization”: France studies the possibility of selling more of its shares in publicly owned toll road companies

  • Main Agencies involved : Road and Highway Administration (Dept. of Transportation) and Budget and Treasury Administrations (Dept. of Finance)

  • Role of the French Government evolves from Shareholder/Operator to Regulatory Authority

  • French Government has an important role in setting toll rates

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Toll Rates in FranceGeneral Information

  • Average National Toll Rate (private cars):~Eur 0.07 / km

    • Annual increase (Feb 1st)

    • a little more than inflation

    • Rate varies from toll company to toll company (up to 30% variance)

  • Toll Rate evolution policy is determined by the French Gov’t. and the toll companies:

    • in the concession contract (general framework)

    • In the details, every 5 years, in a sub-contract

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Toll Rates in FranceDefinition of “Toll”

  • The “legal definition” of a toll is complex : Fee for service, Tax, Price… lots of jurisprudence on the issue

  • For a long time, tolls used to cover the cost of infrastructure financing (construction, maintenance, operation)

  • In the future, a vocation to use tolls for :

    • traffic management

    • cover external costs (ex. environmental costs)

  • Several “variable tolls” experiences have been implemented in France in the last 10 years

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Variable Tolls in France Definition of “Variable Tolls”

  • Variable tolls modify toll rates according to parameters such as time of day, itinerary, environmental reasons, etc.

  • A broadly used Variable Tolls : toll rates vary according to vehicle type (i.e.: passenger cars, commercial vehicles)

  • Three other interesting categories of variable tolls:

    • Time-variable tolls: toll rates based on the time of day

    • Itinerary-variable tolls: toll rate determined by route traveled (when two or more possible routes)

    • Environmental-variable tolls: toll rates based on vehicle emissions levels

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Variable Tolls in FranceFrench Government Position on Variable Tolls

  • French Government has favorable view of variable tolls

  • Has taken a pragmatic approach

  • No specific and strict policy : “learning period”, step by step

  • There are some general principles :

    • Main legal principle: Two users may pay two different toll rates if and only if they are in « significant » different situations (legal jurisprudence)

    • No revenue increase: a toll rate increase during a time of the day must be compensated by a decrease during another time

    • Clarity and Simplicity: the user must easily understand the variable toll system implemented

    • Public interest : ex. Variable toll fees may be used for road safety (tunnels)

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Variable Tolls in FranceCase study #1 : A1 Lille-Paris (SANEF)

  • First Time-variable toll, North of Paris, from 1992, still in operation

  • Toll rates increased on Sunday evenings (weekend rush hour)

  • Toll Rate + 25% during « red hours » : 4:30-8:30 pm

  • Toll Rate –25% during « green hours » : 2:30-4:30pm and 8:30-11:30 pm

  • Success : 10% traffic transfer from red to green period, easing congestion

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Variable Tolls in FranceCase study #2 : A10-A11 (COFIROUTE)

  • Southeast of Paris

  • Connection A10-A11

  • March to November 1996

  • Sunday evenings

  • Assessment : positive, 8 to 12% traffic transfer, easing congestion

  • Initial evaluation period has not been extended due to public concerns

  • Cofiroute evaluates the opportunity of starting again

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Variable Tolls in FranceCase study #3 : A14 (SAPN)

  • A14 Urban Toll Highway

  • Paris - 10 miles, open 1996

  • A13 : free alternative but congested during rush hours

  • 1998 : Implementation of Time-Variable Tolls

  • Toll Rates vary according to the time of the day. From 4 Euros to 6 Euros.

  • Objective: no traffic jams

  • Toll subscription policy

  • Electronic Toll Collection System

  • Car pooling, public acceptance

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Variable Tolls in FranceCase study #4 : A1-A26 (SANEF & SAPRR)

  • Itinerary-Variable tolls

  • Objective : avoid traffic around Paris by using route A26-A5-A31 instead of route A1-A6

  • During Summer Holidays 93 and 94

  • Toll Rate + 1.5 Euros on route A1-A6

  • Toll Rate – 5 Euros on route A26-A5-A31

  • Success : users now know the alternative route

  • Initial evaluation period not renewed because A 31 now congested

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Variable Tolls in FranceCase study #5 : A5-A6 (SAPRR)

  • Itinerary-variable toll rate

  • Winter Holidays 1995 to 1997 (Paris to the Alps)

  • South of Paris, use A5 instead of A6

  • Success : 20% more traffic used A5 instead of A6

  • Experiment not extended after opening of A19 in 1997 for technical reasons

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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Variable Tolls in FranceCase study#6:Alpine tunnels (ATMB-SFTRF)

  • Environment-Variable Toll Rates

  • Mountain regions : the Alps are an environmentally sensitive area

  • Mont Blanc Tunnel : 7 miles

  • Frejus Tunnel : 8 miles

  • Variable Tolls applies to Commercial Vehicles

  • “Euro” Classification (according to vehicle emissions)

  • Commercial vehicles pay an additional fee (~5 to 10 %) to use tunnels for environmental and safety reasons

  • Transfer Freight on Rail

  • Acceptance of the infrastructure by local population

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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In conclusion…

  • Long experience : 50 years tolling, 10 years using variable tolls

  • Variable tolling in France : a pragmatic approach, no specific public policy at this time, French Government sets general principles as it goes along

  • Evolution of the concept of tolls : from a financing purpose (cover infrastructure cost) to a broader purpose (traffic management & cover external costs)

  • France--with its European partners--is in the process of forging new public policy by redefining tolls and determining to what extent variable tolls should be used.

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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THANK YOU !

  • Contacts:

    David LECOFFRE, Transportation & Infrastructure Attaché

    Embassy of France

    4101 Reservoir Road, Washington, D.C. 20008

    Tel: (202) 944-6304

    Email: david.lecoffre@dree.org

  • Additional contacts (French Road and Highway Adm.)

    Patrick Vieu, Toll Roads and Concessions

    Email : AR.DR@equipement.gouv.fr

    Alain Fayard, Economic and European Affairs

    Email : CM-EE.DR@equipement.gouv.fr

International Symposium on Road Pricing, Nov 19-22, 2003


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