Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assessing the Impact of Parking Pricing on Transportation Mode Choice and Behavior
by Ng, Wei-Shiuen, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2014, 263; 3685971
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the impact of parking pricing on travel demand and behavior, using the University of California (UC), Berkeley campus as a study site. Parking pricing is often implemented to recover costs or to serve as a source of revenue for cities or private parking operators. However, parking pricing can also be an effective transportation demand management tool. Parking price can be set at market rates or can be set to meet other objectives, such as reducing emissions or traffic. In either case, by increasing the direct cost of driving, parking pricing can lead travelers to shift to public transportation or non-motorized modes. Parking pricing can also help to reduce total distance traveled through cruising reduction, and through trip reduction or consolidation, and in so doing can decrease congestion, air pollution and other transportation externalities. Understanding the role of parking pricing in influencing travel demand and behavior is crucial for determining whether a flexible and variable pricing structure can be effective in managing parking demand and scarce land resources, yet at the same time, generating adequate economic revenue.

The main objective of this dissertation is to analyze whether and to what extent changes in parking policies can alter transportation mode choice and parking preferences given different travel constraints, options and needs. Changes in parking policies examined in this dissertation not only include price, but also payment type (i.e. monthly, daily, or hourly), proximity of parking location to workplace and other incentives bundled together with specific parking options. Therefore, parking preference is defined as the pricing type and location of the chosen parking space. The types of parking pricing analyzed in this dissertation include paying by month, day, or hour, together with transit incentives bundled with different types of parking pricing options, while parking location is broadly divided into on-campus and off-campus parking. In order to better evaluate the impact of parking pricing and other transportation policies on travel behavior and demand, it is also necessary to understand how travel and parking behavior can be influenced by employment type and its respective flexibility of work schedule. In addition to accounting for the socioeconomic characteristics of the employees, this dissertation therefore investigates their job characteristics and the flexibility of their work schedule, both of which affect transportation mode choice and parking location because of their effects on time of travel, time, duration of stay at the workplace and frequency of commute trips.

The UC Berkeley campus was selected as a study site to reevaluate current parking policies and to improve parking pricing to lower transportation demand and to reduce cruising for parking. The University is situated adjacent to the City of Berkeley's downtown, in the inner suburban ring of the San Francisco Bay Area. The campus is served directly by several AC Transit bus routes and a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station. UC Berkeley is one of the largest employers and trip generators in the region, with more than 36,000 students, 1,377 faculty members, and more than 12,000 non-academic staff. As a result, it generates more than 50,000 trips per day, whereas there are only approximately 5,000 parking spaces available on campus. There is a clear constraint on parking availability and transportation demand management tools are vital in maintaining a relatively low driving mode share. Current parking policies are designed to cover current operating costs, but fall well short of replacement costs, with an annual budget of approximately $13 million, except for bond payments. Furthermore, there is a wide range of employment types, job levels, work schedules, residential locations, and socioeconomic characteristics at UC Berkeley, which reflect varying employee attitudes, commute and parking choices. Therefore, findings from this dissertation can be applied to other regions. UC Berkeley students are excluded in this study. Campus parking regulations restrict parking permits to students who live off campus at a distance of two miles or more, and only 26 percent of students meet this criterion. As a result, only eight parking lots or garages are available for student parking. The study focuses instead on faculty and staff transportation demand and parking behavior.

A total of four different research methods were used to investigate attitudes and behavior, namely, open-ended interviews, focus groups, a transportation and parking survey, and discrete choice analysis. The combination of quantitative and qualitative methods provides complementary yet independent observations, as each method examines different facets of the research question. The survey was designed to examine current transportation demand and parking behavior, as well as potential changes in behavior under various parking pricing scenarios. Hence, it was used to collect both revealed preference (RP) and stated preference (SP) data. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Deakin, Elizabeth
Commitee: Cervero, Robert, Chatman, Daniel, Walker, Joan
School: University of California, Berkeley
Department: City and Regional Planning
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Transportation planning
Keywords: Flexibility of work schedule, Mode choice, Parking pricing, Stated preference, Transportation demand management, Travel behavior
Publication Number: 3685971
ISBN: 978-1-321-62581-3
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