I-PRISM Innovative Pricing for Sustainable Mobility

CongestionCongestion charge

Part of the Research Programme ‘Sustainable Accessibility of the Randstad'

The I-Prism project investigates how innovative pricing can contribute to achieving a more sustainable transport system, taking a broad perspective that encompasses multiple modes (notably road and public transport), multiple technologies within a mode (e.g. electric vs. conventional fuel cars), multiple actors (travellers and major stakeholders), and interactions between infrastructure and urban networks; and that considers the implementation and transition phase explicitly. The project is carried out by researchers from VU University, Groningen and TU Delft.

This study takes a systems perspective. For effects assessment this includes transport-specific issues like interactions between road and public transport performance and pricing, but also mutual interactions with spatial urban markets (labour, housing, location). For acceptability research, this includes the explicit consideration of (strategic) behaviour of lobby groups, (local) governments, and other institutions. And for studying price setting, this involves the consideration of multiple (local or national) governments and/or multiple private road operators, competing on the same network.

The programme encompasses various research methods. For the analysis of pricing effects, empirical (“revealed preference”) data will be used. For acceptability research, questionnaires, experiments, and in-depth interviews with key actors in the Netherlands are foreseen. Finally, various analytical and simulation equilibrium network models will be used in investigating the full equilibrium impacts of spill-overs and feedback effects upon the performance of pricing schemes, as well as the pricing behaviour of governments and private operators controlling part of a network.

I-PriSM is a follow up of the research programme MD-PIT, A Multi-Disciplinary Study of Pricing Policies in Transport.  


The following universities are involved in the i-PriSM project:

VU University Amsterdam, Department of Spatial Economics:
Implementation of transport pricing: an economic perspective

Delft University of Technology, Department of Civil Engineering and Geosciences:
Transport pricing: a multi-modal dynamic network perspective

Groningen University, Department of Psychology:
Acceptability of transport pricing: a psychological perspective

Delft University of Technology, Department of Technology, Policy and Management
Implementation of road pricing:vehicle technology, governance, and institutional transition 


On May 23, 2016, a special issue of "Tijdschrift Vervoerswetenschap" (vol. 50, no. 1, in Dutch) appeared on the results of I-PRiSM, covering a number of subjects:

- psychological effects of price incentives; 
- the role of national newspapers in the debate on road pricing and kilometre charge 
- modelling mobility pricing with multiple actors;
- road pricing, why urban labour- and housing markets matter.