Regulating Hazardous Materials Transportation by Dual Toll Pricing

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hazardous material transportation, toll setting, non-convex optimization, bi-level programming

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We investigate dual-toll setting as a policy tool to mitigate the risk of hazardous material (hazmat) shipment in road networks. We formulate the dual-toll problem as a bi-level program wherein the upper level aims at minimizing the risk, and the lower level explores the user equilibrium decision of the regular vehicles and hazmat carriers given the toll. When the upper level objective is to minimize the risk and all links are tollable, we decompose the formulation into first-stage and second-stage, and suggest a computational method to solve each stage. Our two-stage solution methodology guarantees nonnegative valid dual tolls regardless of the solution accuracy of the first-stage problem. We also consider a general dual-toll setting problem where the regulator rather wishes to minimize a combination of risk and the paid tolls and/or some links are untollable. To solve this truly bilevel problem, we provide heuristic algorithms that decompose the problem into subproblems each being solved by a line search. Case studies based on the Sioux Falls network illustrate the insights on the dual-toll policies.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, v. 83, p. 20-35