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Using emission functions in modeling environmentally sustainable traffic assignment policies

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  • Transport systems play a crucial role for sustainable development, and hence, sustainable urban transportation has recently become a major research area. Most of the existing studies propose evaluation methods that use simulation tools to assess the sustainability of different transportation policies. Although there are some recent studies, considering the sustainability dimension and the resulting policies through mathematical programming models is still an open research area. In this study, we focus on controlling the gas emissions for the environmental sustainability and propose several mathematical programming models that incorporate the measurements of gas emissions over a traffic network. We define emission functions in terms of the traffic flow so that the accumulated emission amounts can be modeled accurately, particularly in case of congestion. Using these emission functions, we introduce alternate objective functions and develop optimization models under various policies which are based on the well-known toll pricing and capacity enhancement. The proposed models both reflect the route choice decisions of the network users and the decisions of the transportation managers that aim at making the transport systems more sustainable through the policies of interest. We conduct a computational study on a well-known testing network and present numerical results to evaluate the proposed alternate models. We conclude that simultaneously applying the toll pricing and capacity enhancement policies is in general more effective in serving the travel demand and reducing the emission amounts compared to implementing these policies individually.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 90B20, 90C33; Secondary: 90B10.

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